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Probe into Mitsui petrochemical after Texas fire rages for days

Staff Writer |
State and local investigators have begun probing a petrochemical storage company outside Houston where a massive fire fed by giant tanks of fuel burned for days.

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The blaze in Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas, began on Sunday and was not extinguished until early Wednesday. It destroyed 11 tanks of gasoline and other fuels. Before the fire, the facility had 242 tanks able to hold up to 13.1 million barrels of fuels.

There were no injuries and a cause of the fire has not been determined, officials said.

The state's environmental regulator said it has begun an investigation into the incident. The agency has cited Intercontinental Terminals for violations of state air-emissions rules 39 times in the last 16 years.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality estimated that on the first day of the fire 6.2 million pounds of carbon monoxide and thousands of pounds of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and toluene were released.

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