American: Notes TEXAS Like Being Inside a Bomb

Notes TEXAS "Like Being Inside a Bomb"

Danger is a constant companion of workers in the petrochemical industry. But no one could be prepared for the explosions and the fireball that last week reduced a Phillips Petroleum Co. plastics plant near Houston to a blackened maze. "It was like being inside a bomb," said purchasing agent Clay Howell, who was knocked out of his chair 350 yds. from the blasts. Trying to stop the inferno was "like spitting in the ocean," said Houston fireman Joseph Phillips. Twenty-two employees were either killed or presumed dead.

The company suggested that a seal on one of the plant's eleven-story-high reactors may...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!