Employee charged with assault in Texas plant explosion

DALLAS (AP) — Another senior employee at a chemical company is facing criminal charges connected to a 2017 explosion at a Houston-area plant following Hurricane Harvey.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday that Arkema vice president of logistics Michael Keough has been indicted for felony assault.

District Attorney Kim Ogg says Keough falsely told officials that Arkema was monitoring potentially explosive chemical tanks in real time when the company had insufficient data to give early warning. Ogg says these “misrepresentations” led sheriff’s deputies to drive directly into a toxic cloud, which then spread to expose citizens of Crosby, outside Houston.

A lawyer for Keough says his actions are not a crime and called the indictment “absurd” and “beyond rational thought.”

Arkema and two other senior employees were charged last year.

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