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Chemical Safety Board joins the Deer Park ITC armor investigation



DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) – The process of emptying the benzene leaked tank at Deer Park's ITC early Thursday is continuing.

At 3am on Thursday, there were 2.2 million gallons of chemical left over. Despite repeated requests to ITC for updated numbers, these were never provided. A spokesman would only say that the tank 80-7 in the 15-tank tank farm was "not completely emptied".

There is a risk of another leak until the entire chemical is consumed.

"I can not give you an exact timeframe," ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson told a news conference.

ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson explains in detail how benzene escaped from the compromised tank.

On Thursday, another investigator of the federal government arrived in Deer Park. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent, impartial body, sent an investigator to investigate the cause of the fire and determine if something internal had happened that led to the disaster.

"I think it's important that agencies look after federal and federal agencies," said Houston Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, who has been watching the developments.

The CSB has no authority to execute. The agency determines and can only give recommendations. If necessary, law enforcement or civil suits lead to real change, said lawyer Sean Tracey. He has represented around 1

00 customers in the areas of chemical exposure, explosion and release.

"None of this happens out of the blue, you could have said it was a mile away and I guarantee you that someone in the company knew or should have known this would happen," Tracey said. "I've never seen a chemical explosion case, a chemical release case, in which, if you really start digging, no huge number of warning signs came up that were ignored."

The ITC tank fire burned up to eight tanks from Sunday to Wednesday. It was briefly re-lit Wednesday, but was limited within 30 seconds, said the city government's Twitter account.

AIR QUALITY MAP: Click on the picture to see it in full size

The fire has concerns about the air quality of the inhabitants of the area causes thick, black smoke from the fire.

Environmental groups said residents living near the facility had several symptoms, including headache, nausea and nosebleeds. According to the Centers for Disease Control, long-term exposure to highly flammable chemicals causes harmful effects on the blood, including bone marrow.

If you have questions about your health, call the Ask My Nurse hotline at 713-634-1110. The nurses' questions will be answered by the hotline from 8 am to 8.30 pm.

You can see the air quality map on readyharris.org.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

RELATED STORIES:

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Deer Park Fire: Fire of the ITC site after fire extinguishment
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The five worst fires in Houston history since 1947

Fire Dept. in Deer Park: What has happened at ITC so far

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