Two people were injured and another is missing after an explosion yesterday at Tri-Chem Industries in Cresson, Texas. Dylan Mitchell, a 27-year-old father of one, has been missing since the blast occurred around 9:30 a.m. on March 15. His distraught brother Austin told NBC5 that he fears the worst about his brother, his best friend who is set to be a groomsman at his wedding in two weeks.
At its plant in Cresson, located about 20 miles southwest of Fort Worth, Tri-Chem dilutes concentrated acids, soaps and other chemicals for its corporate clients. Dylan has worked for the company for three or four years mixing chemicals, his brother said. On the morning of the explosion, he used his foot to move something out of the way and it is believed that a spark ignited the vapors, Austin told CBSDFW.
The explosion sparked a massive fire that shot huge flames and plumes of toxic black smoke billowing into the air. Firefighters searched the portion of the building that remained standing and battled the flames until late in the evening, but the toxicity of the smoke prevented emergency crews from getting close to the area where the explosion occurred.
Two other TriChem employees were injured in the blast, one of them was reportedly blown out of the door by the force of the blast wave. Both men were hospitalized. One of them was brought to Lake Granbury Medical Center, the other, who was critically injured, was airlifted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Explosion injuries cover a wide spectrum including burns, blunt force trauma, crush injuries, and lacerations, according to explosion lawyers Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman who represent clients who have suffered a catastrophic injury or lost a loved one in a wrongful death resulting from an explosion.
More than 50 investigators from various agencies were on the scene at the site this morning included a team from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a special hazmat team. They were conducting environmental tests and using a drone to help them determine when it would be safe enough for them to get closer to what remains of the building.