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HOUSTON: Lightning struck a chemical plant in the fourth largest United States city of Houston on Tuesday, forcing the shutdown of the facility.
According to China's Xinhua news agency, the lightening, brought about by storms that rolled through the city, struck inside the TPC Group in east Houston, the local newspaper quoted company officials as saying.
The strike reportedly caused the boilers to shut down, resulting in a loss of steam feeding into the plant. Flaring and black smoke could be seen for miles.
The plant is monitoring the situation and has not detected a chemical release into the air, according to a local TV channel.
No injuries have been reported, and employees are working to restore power at the chemical plant, company officials said.
Storms hit Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas, earlier this month.
Insured losses from a massive hailstorm that struck the Dallas area earlier this month were estimated to be close to US$1 billion, according to media reports. -- BERNAMA