January 25, 2020 / 12:27 AM / a month ago

U.S. Chemical Safety Board sending team to probe Houston blast

A damaged building is seen at the Watson Grinding & Manufacturing grounds in Houston, Texas, U.S., January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is sending a team of investigators to probe an early Friday morning explosion at a Houston machine shop that killed at least two people, a board spokeswoman said.

The massive explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing in northwest Houston ripped through a working-class neighborhood, damaging homes while sending out blast waves for miles.

“We’re sending a team of investigators,” Hillary Cohen, Chemical Safety Board spokeswoman, said in an email.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is authorized under federal law to investigate chemical disasters to determine root causes and promote changes in process safety at chemical plants. The Board has no regulatory or enforcement authority, but its recommendations are often adopted as policies by industry and regulators.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Will Dunham

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