Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas

Fires and two explosions rocked a flooded Houston-area chemical plant early Thursday, sending up a plume that federal authorities described as “incredibly dangerous” and adding a potential new hazard to the aftermath of Harvey.

The blasts at the Arkema Inc. plant, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, also ignited a 30- to 40-foot flame. The French operator of the plant said up to eight more chemical containers could burn and explode.

Local officials insisted that the explosion produced no toxins.

The blasts happened as floodwaters from days of relentless rain began to recede and the threat of major dangers from the storm shifted to a region near the Texas-Louisiana line.

Fire authorities said the blasts were small and that some deputies suffered irritated eyes from the smoke, but they emphasized that the materials that caught fire shortly after midnight were not toxic. (AP)

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Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A fire burns at the flooded plant of French chemical maker Arkema SA in Crosby, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

The flooded plant of French chemical maker Arkema SA, which produces organic peroxides, is seen after fires were reported at the facilty in Crosby, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas

Harris County Fire Marshal Assistant Chief Bob Royall, center, and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez speak about the explosion of organic peroxides at the Arkema chemical plant during a press conference outside the Crosby Fire Department Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. Fifteen Harris County Sheriff Office deputies that first responded to the fire at the plant were sent to the hospital. (Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A fire burns at the flooded plant of French chemical maker Arkema SA in Crosby, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas

Mike Cossey, of Bureau Veritas, uses an air monitor to check the quality of air at a police roadblock marking the 1.5-mile perimeter of the evacuation area around the Arkema Inc. chemical plant Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A Harris County Sheriff helicopter flies away after taking off from the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department after a chemical plant operated by the Arkema Group had an explosion during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 31, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A firetruck waits at a roadblock after a chemical plant operated by the Arkema Group had an explosion during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on .Aug. 31, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A flooded Arkema Inc. chemical plant is seen after explosions sent a plume of fumes and smoke into the air early Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. (AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

Emergency vehicles wait at a roadblock after a chemical plant operated by the Arkema Group had an explosion during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 31, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas

Frances Breaux cries as she talks about her fears for two close friends who live near the Arkema Inc. chemical plant Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. Breaux said her close friends, an elderly couple that live close to the plant, have not been heard from Thursday. The Houston-area chemical plant that lost power after Harvey engulfed the area in extensive floods was rocked by multiple explosions early Thursday, the plant’s operator said. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A Harris County Sheriff walks by a Channel Industries Mutual Aid firetruck at the Crosby volunteer fire department after a chemical plant operated by the Arkema Group had an explosion during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 31, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

Richard Rennard, president of acrylic monomers, America for Arkema Inc. speaks during a news conference Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A sheriff walks near a roadblock after a chemical plant operated by the Arkema Group had an explosion during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey August 31, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A police officer lays down a safety flare while blocking the road leading to the Arkema SA plant which was hit by floods caused Tropical Storm Harvey near Crosby, Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

The Arkema Inc. chemical plant is flooded from Tropical Storm Harvey, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Crosby, Texas. The plant, about 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) northeast of Houston, lost power and its backup generators amid Harvey’s dayslong deluge, leaving it without refrigeration for chemicals that become volatile as the temperature rises. (Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

Trucks make their way through flood waters on a main road leading to the Arkema Inc. chemical plant that was in crisis during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 30, 2017 in Crosby, Texas. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Explosions rock Harvey-flooded Arkema chemical plant

A Harris County Sheriff vehicle blocks access on the Crosby Dayton Road which leads towards the Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby, Texas on Aug. 31, 2017. The plume of fumes from a flooded Texas chemical plant is “incredibly dangerous,” the head of the U.Ss Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Thursday. Two explosions were reported overnight at the chemical plant in the town of Crosby and officials have ordered residents within 1.5 miles (three kilometers) of the facility to evacuate. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

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