• Company says gas leak caused explosion at Houston-area plant

    Updated:
    HOUSTON (AP) - Officials say a gas leak caused an explosion and brief flash fire at a chemical plant near Houston, resulting in non-life threatening injuries to nearly two dozen workers.

    Kuraray America says in a news release that ethylene escaping from a safety valve caught fire Saturday at the company's EVAL plan in Pasadena where 266 workers were on site.

    Ethylene is a gas that is not harmful to humans and is used in the production of plastic.

    La Porte Emergency Management Lt. John Krueger says the injuries include burns similar to a severe sunburn and back and leg injuries.

    The plant's address is Pasadena, but is located in an unincorporated area between the Houston suburbs.

    Plant manager Eric Bass said the company is working with investigators.

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    This version of the story corrects the spelling of the company name to Kuraray America.

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