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Shutdown rattles unsuspecting neighbors - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Shutdown rattles unsuspecting neighbors

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Homes surrounding Dupont's Sabine River Works site were rattled Tuesday night by what many thought was an explosion. 
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"I heard a loud boom thought it was thunder. As far as I knew it wasn't supposed to rain at all," Raymond Brown said. 

Brown went outside to check if his home was down wind.

"You could see the sky lit up red. You could see the flare stack. Probably 50 to 100 foot flame of fire," Brown said. 

With a noise was a shockwave felt as far as Carlyss, Louisiana. Gaven Seelye was outside when he heard a loud boom. 

"There was like a red smoke then it turned an orange color. Then it went boom! Shook the whole ground," Seelye said.

Blake Holder was watching a movie with friends at a nearby home. 

"I was thinking something must've blown up at the plant. There was a lot of smoke. Felt like a really big blast whenever I was out here. There was flames shooting up high," Holder said. 

As it turns out, a Dupont spokesperson says there was an emergency polyethylene shutdown. 

Dupont says the material had to rapidly decompress, which prevents a larger incident but also causes a loud noise similar to a freight train. 

"It shook the whole house. Real loud noise and everything. It kind of scared me and my dad when it shook the house. I was scared," Richard Dorman said.

The shutdown resulted in flaring at one of the plants stacks which explains the fire and glowing sky some claimed to have seen.

Dupont says the shutdown is part of the plant's safety system and that it worked as it was designed.
     
But many had no clue what was going on. 

"Everybody was running around trying to figure out what was going on. We didn't figure it out until the morning it was Dupont," Brown said.

The all clear was given at midnight. No injuries were reported

 

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