08/29/2017 08:27 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2017

Residents Near Texas Chemical Plant Evacuated Over Explosion Risk

Earlier on Tuesday, the owner of the plant said the situation at its Crosby plant “has become serious.”

Aug 29 (Reuters) - All residents within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of a chemical plant in southeast Texas were evacuated on Tuesday as a “precautionary measure” on Tuesday because of the rising risk of an explosion, the local fire marshal’s office said in a Twitter message.

Earlier on Tuesday, the owner of the plant, Arkema SA , said in a statement the situation at its Crosby, Texas, plant “has become serious” and evacuated all of its staff from the facility.

Crosby is about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Houston and in the 2010 U.S. census had a population of 2,300 people.

“As a protective measure Harris County has evacuated all residents within 1.5 miles of the Arkema facility,” said a Twitter message from the Harris County Fire Marshal Office.

“There is a potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire at the facility, which could produce a large amount of black smoke,” the fire marshal, citing Arkema, said.

“While we do not believe there is any imminent danger, the potential for a chemical reaction leading to a fire and/or explosion within the site confines is real,” the company said.

(Additonal reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Jarret Rensaw in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney and Lisa Shumaker)