Evacuation order lifted as huge Texas plant fire ‘contained’

PORT NECHES, Texas (AP) — Authorities in Texas say a massive chemical plant fire that rocked a Gulf Coast town with two major explosions is finally considered contained after three days.

Officials on Friday also lifted a mandatory evacuation for 50,000 people who were ordered to leave their homes during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Jefferson County Jeff Branick said residents should still avoid the area around the TPC Group plant about 80 miles (129 kilometers) east of Houston. He said fires remain in the facility but are isolated.

The explosions began early Wednesday morning and blew out windows and doors of nearby homes. Three workers were injured.

Officials have said the blast occurred in an area of the plant that makes butadiene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and other products.

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