Firefighters battle INFERNO after huge blast at Texas chemical plant

NBC    
     SMOULDERING Thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the plant in North Texas

NBC SMOULDERING Thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the plant in North Texas

The fire at the Tri-Chem Industries Plant, which manufactures products like soap and acid, erupted at the building along with a series of violent explosions.

"We sent crews out, and as soon as they got out there, they called for help", said Mayor Bob Cornett. He says the worker caught fire from his waist up and was airlifted with critical burn injuries to a hospital in Dallas, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.

Another worker was treated for lesser injuries.

Billowing smoke from the fire has forced the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to close part of southbound Highway 377 in Hood County and State Highway 171 in Cresson.

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Two men were injured and another is missing after a massive fire at a Texas power plant on Thursday morning.

One victim, identified by his family as Jason Segel, suffered severe injuries, while 27-year-old Dylan Mitchell, another employee at the plant, is still missing.

The fire was believed to have been caused by a worker who dragged his foot along the floor of the plant as the chemicals were being mixed, Cornett told the Associated Press.

Inside the plant water or solids are blended with highly concentrated chemicals.

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The Environmental Protection Agency and other authorities are monitoring air emissions. They also said he "saw sparks" before the explosion.

Concerned about the substantial risk of further explosions, fire crews were ordered not to enter the building and are letting the fire burn itself out.

It wasn't immediately clear what types of chemicals are manufactured at the Tri-Chem Industries plant in Cresson, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Dallas.

A total of about 12 people work at the plant.

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