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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas

Dallas man gets 30 years in prison after calling on slaughter of ‘infidels’ for ISIS

A Texas man who railed against “infidels” in his support of ISIS, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for promoting the group online and lying to investigators, prosecutors said.

Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, a U.S. citizen living in the Dallas area, was convicted in May on eight counts related to social media and supporting terrorism. He could have been sentenced to up to 88 years in federal prison.

Westlake Legal Group ISIS-patch-iStock Dallas man gets 30 years in prison after calling on slaughter of ‘infidels’ for ISIS fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a4732cfa-5a7d-51da-b847-a9c0e1d2d16a

A patch of the ISIS flag on a soldier’s uniform.  (iStock)

“Mr. Rahim embraced a warped ideology on social media, promoting violence against innocent people, including Americans,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a prepared statement. “The Justice Department is committed to combatting terror at home and abroad.”

Evidence presented during his trial showed Rahim, 42, moderated a social media channel dedicated to recruiting fighters for ISIS.

NEW YORK CITY ISIS SUPPORTER SEEN AS ‘TICKING TIME BOMB’ GETS DECADES IN PRISON

He is said to have used a push-to-talk direct messaging application to promote violence in the name of the terrorist group. In those messages, Rahim urged his followers to “kill and do not consult anyone. Kill by any means,” prosecutors said.

Rahim was arrested in 2017 at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport while trying to board a flight to Amman, Jordan, prosecutors said.

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When questioned by officers, Rahim denied supporting terrorism or promoting such violence, they said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group ISIS-patch-iStock Dallas man gets 30 years in prison after calling on slaughter of ‘infidels’ for ISIS fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a4732cfa-5a7d-51da-b847-a9c0e1d2d16a   Westlake Legal Group ISIS-patch-iStock Dallas man gets 30 years in prison after calling on slaughter of ‘infidels’ for ISIS fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a4732cfa-5a7d-51da-b847-a9c0e1d2d16a

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Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator

Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1

A quick-thinking Texas man saved a dog from a horrible fate when its owner got onto an elevator while holding the dog’s leash — without realizing the pooch had failed to follow her inside.

Johnny Mathis, of Houston, tweeted of the wild incident Monday, writing he was “shaking” after he heroically rescued the Pomeranian.

SAMMY THE DOG BARKS ALARM, SAVING GEORGIA FAMILY FROM FIRE INSIDE HOME

“I just saved a dog on a leash that didn’t make it onto the elevator with the owner before the door closed!” he wrote online. “I just happened to turn around as the door closed and it started to lift off the ground I got the leash off in time.”

On Wednesday, he posted video footage of the encounter. It shows him getting off an elevator and a woman, who is walking her dog on a leash, getting on it.

COAST GUARD RESCUES FLORIDA DOG SPOTTED SWIMMING FOR ITS LFE

The dog either hesitates or isn’t quick enough, and doesn’t make it inside the elevator, separating the dog and the woman. The elevator doors close and the owner seemingly doesn’t realize her dog is not inside with her.

Mathis sees what’s unfolding and quickly jumps to save the dog. He runs and grabs the pet, pulling it down and trying to unbuckle it from its leash, which is now moving upwards as the elevator rises.

He eventually unclips the dog, picks it up and holds it in his arms before he stands, waiting for the owner to come back.

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“It was super scary and all I was focused on was getting that leash off the dog,” Mathis told Fox Television Stations. He said the owner was “terrified” and “as soon as the door shut she was screaming.”

“There was nothing she could have done. She is new to the building so I think she wasn’t expecting it to shut so fast,” he said. “I felt terrible for her. It was an honest mistake.”

Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1   Westlake Legal Group dog-elevator-3-Johnny-Mathis Texas man jumps to the rescue after dog gets leash stuck in elevator Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/good-news fox-news/entertainment/genres/pets fox news fnc/us fnc article 29a220b6-e94a-58ba-997f-85165b0e95d1

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Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend’s forehead, report says

A Texas man who police said had a history of violence was arrested on Friday night for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight.

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, of San Antonio, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after an argument over his relationship with Catalina Mireles, 22, turned physical, according to the arrest affidavit.

“He was going to put [me] in the closet until he figured out what he was going to do with my body,” she told KSAT.

NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING PRESUMED TO BE ‘TERRORISM; SAUDI STUDENT RECORDED ATTACK ON VIDEO, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight, San Antonio police said. (Bexar County Central Records)

Mireles told police that on the afternoon of Dec. 5, Hildreth grabbed her by the neck and punched her in the face about 10 times.

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He then grabbed a knife and carved his name into her forehead — leaving the apartment before police arrived, according to the outlet.

An investigation into Hildreth revealed a history of violence, including two outstanding warrants for burglary assault and family violence-strangulation, police told the Houston Chronicle.

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc   Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

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Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend’s forehead, report says

A Texas man who police said had a history of violence was arrested on Friday night for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight.

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, of San Antonio, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after an argument over his relationship with Catalina Mireles, 22, turned physical, according to the arrest affidavit.

“He was going to put [me] in the closet until he figured out what he was going to do with my body,” she told KSAT.

NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING PRESUMED TO BE ‘TERRORISM; SAUDI STUDENT RECORDED ATTACK ON VIDEO, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight, San Antonio police said. (Bexar County Central Records)

Mireles told police that on the afternoon of Dec. 5, Hildreth grabbed her by the neck and punched her in the face about 10 times.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

He then grabbed a knife and carved his name into her forehead — leaving the apartment before police arrived, according to the outlet.

An investigation into Hildreth revealed a history of violence, including two outstanding warrants for burglary assault and family violence-strangulation, police told the Houston Chronicle.

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc   Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

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Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president’s Texas library

A life-sized bronze statue of Sully, the loyal service dog to the late former President George H.W. Bush, was unveiled Monday at his presidential library.

The statue of the labrador retriever will be installed in the east wing of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

SULLY, PRESIDENT BUSH’S SERVICE DOG, TRAINS FOR WORK AT WALTER REED

Westlake Legal Group 7bfc3f29-Photo-Dec-02-12-49-36-PM Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president's Texas library Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/news-events/remembering-george-h-w-bush fox news fnc/us fnc article ac182ab9-6a18-5681-a8a3-14fac4e0b2bb

Sully, the yellow labrador who assisted the late former President George H.W. Bush before his death last year, sits next to a statue of himself at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. (America’s VetDogs)

“I fell in love with Sully and wanted to capture in life-size bronze the beautiful loyalty and bond that our beloved president inspired in him and that was forever seared in our memories,” said sculptor Susan Bahary, who was commissioned by VetDogs to create the figure.

The stature features Sully in a sitting position holding a leash in his mouth, which depicts the “retrieve” command, and wearing a VetDog’s service vest with the Great Seal of the United States on its back.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S SERVICE DOG, SULLY, IS HONORED: MISSION COMPLETE

Westlake Legal Group Photo-Dec-02-12-19-16-PM Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president's Texas library Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/news-events/remembering-george-h-w-bush fox news fnc/us fnc article ac182ab9-6a18-5681-a8a3-14fac4e0b2bb

Sully sits next to a statue of former President George H.W. Bush in College Station, Texas. (America’s VetDogs)

Sully assisted Bush during the last six months of his life before he passed away in November 2018 at age 94. He gained a wide following when family spokesperson Jim McGrath shared a photograph of him next to Bush’s casket.

Sully joined a team of dogs at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, earlier this year where he helps wounded military members.

Westlake Legal Group Photo-Dec-01-5-15-53-PM-3 Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president's Texas library Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/news-events/remembering-george-h-w-bush fox news fnc/us fnc article ac182ab9-6a18-5681-a8a3-14fac4e0b2bb

Houston Texans player J.J. Watt played with Sully at NRG Stadium.  (America’s VetDogs)

“Sully is an outstanding ambassador for the life-changing work our specially-trained dogs provide to our nation’s veterans and first responders with disabilities,” said John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs.

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Before making his way to the unveiling, Sully visited NRG Stadium in Houston to watch the Houston Texans beat the New England Patriots where he caught the eye of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

Westlake Legal Group 7bfc3f29-Photo-Dec-02-12-49-36-PM Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president's Texas library Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/news-events/remembering-george-h-w-bush fox news fnc/us fnc article ac182ab9-6a18-5681-a8a3-14fac4e0b2bb   Westlake Legal Group 7bfc3f29-Photo-Dec-02-12-49-36-PM Statue of Sully, service dog for late George H.W. Bush, unveiled at president's Texas library Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/news-events/remembering-george-h-w-bush fox news fnc/us fnc article ac182ab9-6a18-5681-a8a3-14fac4e0b2bb

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Al Green on impeachment support: Martin Luther King ‘didn’t march on Washington because of polls’

Westlake Legal Group al-green-cavuto Al Green on impeachment support: Martin Luther King 'didn't march on Washington because of polls' fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b6347bea-25fc-5837-925a-4f6f437d076a article

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, an early proponent of impeaching President Trump, said he hoped more Republican lawmakers would be on board with the current inquiry but added that past leaders didn’t check public polling before acting on their beliefs.

Green told Neil Cavuto on “Your World” the impeachment inquiry could go beyond the allegations involving Ukraine, with congressional leaders looking at possible charges of abuse of power and “obstruction” of the House probe.

Cavuto asked Green for his thoughts on continuing with impeachment despite no House Republican support. The host also referenced votes by Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn, and Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., against the initial impeachment proceeding.

“I would like for it to be bipartisan,” Green responded before adding that he believes the situation shows that “moral imperative trumps political expediency.”

“You do this because Dr. King was right. He said: ‘The time is always right to do that which is right’.”

Green said King did not “wait on polls” to decide whether or not to march on Washington, D.C. in support of civil rights.

“Rosa Parks didn’t take her seat on a bus because of polls,” Green continued, going on to reference Rep. John Lewis’, D-Ga., participation in the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march in Alabama in favor of African-American voting rights.

“John Lewis didn’t cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge because of polls,” Green said. “We have to do things because it is right, even if it is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular.”

Green also compared Trump to former President Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat who was impeached in 1868.

“This president is quite similar to that president,” he said. “Andrew Johnson was impeached for his… incitive behavior.”

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During the interview, Cavuto asked Green if Trump should be considered to be engaging in obstructive behavior if he deems the House proceedings to be unfair and that of a “kangaroo court.”

“The president is entitled to characterize things as he chooses,” Green responded. “He often mischaracterizes things, and that would be a mischaracterization. I think the House has a duty to do this.”

Westlake Legal Group al-green-cavuto Al Green on impeachment support: Martin Luther King 'didn't march on Washington because of polls' fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b6347bea-25fc-5837-925a-4f6f437d076a article   Westlake Legal Group al-green-cavuto Al Green on impeachment support: Martin Luther King 'didn't march on Washington because of polls' fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz b6347bea-25fc-5837-925a-4f6f437d076a article

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Botham Jean’s brother, who hugged killer, given award for ethical courage

Westlake Legal Group 14_AP19275806080697 Botham Jean’s brother, who hugged killer, given award for ethical courage fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc f64b29e3-ccff-5504-9572-6820a2205b45 Bradford Betz article

The younger brother of Botham Jean, the man shot and killed by a Dallas police officer last year, received an award Tuesday for showing compassion toward the cop during her murder trial.

Brandt Jean, 18, received an award for ethical courage from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration during the organization’s conference in Plano, Texas, Fox 4 reported.

Amber Guyger, a white Dallas cop, was sentenced in October to 10 years behind bars for fatally shooting Jean, a black man who was Guyger’s neighbor, when she apparently mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.

An emotional scene played out in the courtroom when Brandt Jean read his impact statement. He said he forgave Guyger and hoped that she would devote her life to Christ,

“I forgive you. And I know, if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you,” he said before proceeding to hug her in the middle of the courtroom.

“It was an act of forgiveness that was unimaginable. It was beautiful. It showed courage in the sense that he was being true to his values, being true to his principals and true to his beliefs,” said ILEA Director Gregory Smith. “If a man can forgive a person who took the life of his brother, who are we not to forgive those in our lives that have wronged us?”

Smith said non-law enforcement personnel generally don’t receive the award for ethical courage, but “his act was just without words.”

“And we decided to move forward with it and we ran it through our alumni association and everyone was on board with this.”

OFF-DUTY CALIFORNIA POLICE OFFICER ATTACKED BY TEENS AFTER HELPING WOMAN WHO SAID PHONE WAS STOLEN

After receiving the award, Brandt Jean pressed the need for change in the Dallas Police Department.

“I don’t want police officers to continue doing this. As you can see it’s not healthy, especially for the black community, black males specifically,” he said. “We don’t want this to happen again. We want the training to be applied 24/7 because we citizens put our trust in those officers every day.”

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Brandt Jean was joined by his mother, father, and sister, who arrived from their home in St. Lucia. About 50 police officers were in attendance.

Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 14_AP19275806080697 Botham Jean’s brother, who hugged killer, given award for ethical courage fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc f64b29e3-ccff-5504-9572-6820a2205b45 Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group 14_AP19275806080697 Botham Jean’s brother, who hugged killer, given award for ethical courage fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc f64b29e3-ccff-5504-9572-6820a2205b45 Bradford Betz article

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Customs and Border Protection officer accused of killing wife on Thanksgiving

A Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested in the murder of his wife, also a CBP employee, who was killed in their Texas home on Thanksgiving, police said.

Dudley Bernard, 40, was taken into custody in the front yard of his League City property Thursday night after his wife, 42-year-old Chauntelle Bernard was found dead, according to the local police department.

US BORDER AGENT ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SEVERAL SEXUAL ASSAULTS DURING 7-YEAR SPAN

Investigators responded to the house after receiving several 911 calls about “multiple gunshots” fired just after 11 p.m., and found the woman “deceased at the front door of the residence with injuries consistent with gunshot wounds,” officials wrote on Facebook Friday morning. Bernard was arrested without incident.

Westlake Legal Group Dudley-Bernard Customs and Border Protection officer accused of killing wife on Thanksgiving Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b795-f25d-5b57-9115-20b008672518

Dudley Bernard, 40, was charged with murder after his wife, Chauntelle Bernard, was found dead at their home in League City, Texas, on Thanksgiving night. (League City Police Department)

During the time of the shooting, the couple’s two sons, along with other family members, were inside the house, KHOU reported. Police said there was a “disturbance” inside and Bernard walked out of the family’s back door before returning with a handgun. His wife was shot moments later.

BORDER PATROL AGENT ARRESTED, ACCUSED OF KILLING 4 WOMEN AND KIDNAPPING A 5TH

Both Bernard and his wife, per the news outlet, worked for CBP. The agency did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment, but confirmed the couple’s employment in a statement.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist Dudley Bernard was arrested by the League City Police Department on Nov. 28 while he was off duty,” Dennis Smith, a CBP public affairs specialist, said. “Since August 2008, he has worked CBP agriculture operations in the Houston Seaport environment. CBP is fully cooperating with the League City Police Department who is leading this investigation.”

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“CBP Officer Chauntelle Bernard joined CBP in 2008 and she worked her way up the supervisory chain to become a supervisory CBP officer,” Smith continued. “Houston was her only duty station. No words can express the sense of loss SCBPO Bernard’s death brings to her colleagues and friends in CBP. Please direct any further inquiries to the League City Police Department.”

Bernard was charged with murder and as of Sunday was being held at the Galveston County jail on a $200,000 bond.

Westlake Legal Group Dudley-Bernard Customs and Border Protection officer accused of killing wife on Thanksgiving Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b795-f25d-5b57-9115-20b008672518   Westlake Legal Group Dudley-Bernard Customs and Border Protection officer accused of killing wife on Thanksgiving Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b795-f25d-5b57-9115-20b008672518

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Evacuation order lifted amid Texas plant fire, blaze contained, officials say

An evacuation order was lifted Friday for around 50,000 residents on the Texas Gulf Coast after officials determined a chemical plant fire that erupted after two explosions two days earlier was under finally control.

“We are in a position to say it’s contained. We feel comfortable with the efforts that have been made by our firefighters,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said at a news conference in Port Neches, about 80 miles east of Houston.

Several small fires were still going inside the TPC Group facility, which makes chemical and petroleum-based products. It was not clear when those would be extinguished.

Westlake Legal Group AP19331724248284 Evacuation order lifted amid Texas plant fire, blaze contained, officials say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc edb30b98-37c3-5fb3-9fa4-9e4eab4b5174 article

Smoke rises from an explosion at the TPC Group Port Neches Operations plant on Wednesday in Port Neches, Texas. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The first explosion occurred around 1 a.m. Wednesday at a TPC plant in Port Neches, sending large plumes of smoke into the air, stretching for miles. A second blast happened just before 2 p.m., prompting authorities to issue a mandatory evacuation inside a 4-mile radius around the plant.

Water cannons were trained on a surrounding plant to prevent another explosion.

The blasts shattered windows and ripped off doors off hinges in nearby homes. Three workers were injured in the second explosion. The company said about 30 employees were working at the plant at the time were accounted for.

Westlake Legal Group AP19331706771084 Evacuation order lifted amid Texas plant fire, blaze contained, officials say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc edb30b98-37c3-5fb3-9fa4-9e4eab4b5174 article

A boarded up window bears a message for TPC Group as residents and business owners throughout Port Neches, Texas clean up from the damage caused by an explosion on Wednesday. Three workers were injured early Wednesday in a massive explosion at the Texas chemical plant that also blew out the windows and doors of nearby homes. (Kim Brent/The Beaumont Enterprise via AP)

Branick said it could be several months before the cause of the explosions are known. He said the air quality does not pose a danger to residents but cautioned that construction on the plant began in the 1940s and that asbestos had been thrown into people’s yards.

Officials urged residents to not touch debris they find, KFDM-TV reported.

“There’s still going to be smoke in the air. There’s still going to be flames visible at night,” said Troy Monk, the TPC Group’s director of health safety and security.

“I would love to tell you we’re going to be done by the end of the day,” he added. “I would not be telling you the truth if I made that statement. It’s very difficult for us to quantify in days how long this is going to take.”

He noted there was no damage estimate to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Texas petrochemical industry has seen a series of high-profile incidents this year. In March a fire burned for days near Houston that was linked to a plant in nearby Crosby and prosecutors have filed five water pollution charges against a company after chemicals flowed into a nearby waterway.

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In July, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in the Houston suburb of Baytown injured more than a dozen people. Toby Baker, the head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the petroleum industry must be held accountable.

Environmentalists noted that the TPC Group explosion occurred just a week after the Trump administration scaled back chemical safety plant measures that had been prompted by a 2013 explosion at a Texas fertilizer storage facility that killed 15 people.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19331724248284 Evacuation order lifted amid Texas plant fire, blaze contained, officials say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc edb30b98-37c3-5fb3-9fa4-9e4eab4b5174 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19331724248284 Evacuation order lifted amid Texas plant fire, blaze contained, officials say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc edb30b98-37c3-5fb3-9fa4-9e4eab4b5174 article

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Fire rages at Texas chemical plant day after explosions; 50,000 people under evacuation order

Westlake Legal Group Plantexplosion720 Fire rages at Texas chemical plant day after explosions; 50,000 people under evacuation order Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc ef0c6a73-64e0-5037-9ffe-c03e93dc2f4f article

Authorities in East Texas said Thursday that they didn’t know when thousands of people evacuated from their homes following two massive explosions at a local chemical plant would be able to return as a fire continued to burn.

Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens told reporters the evacuation order would remain in place due to ongoing danger from flames, explosions and debris and not due to concerns about air quality near the TPC Group facility in Port Neches, about 80 miles east of Houston.

“It’s Thanksgiving, a lot of people are displaced, they can’t go home,” Stephens told TV station KFDM, adding that the evacuation order covers a four-mile radius from the plant, which makes chemical and petroleum-based products.

Government officials and TPC Group released a joint statement Thursday saying that air quality results from 20 monitoring stations around Port Neches “continue to show no actionable levels” above state and federal standards.

The initial explosion occurred at around 1 a.m. Wednesday, sending a large plume of smoke stretching for miles and started a fire. The second blast ripped through the plant shortly before 2 p.m., sending a steel reactor tower rocketing high into the air. That prompted Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, the top county official, to order a mandatory evacuation of Port Neches and neighboring Groves, Nederland and part of Port Arthur. Water cannons were trained on surrounding plant works and tanks to keep them cool and avoid further explosions.

Branick told reporters late Wednesday that a loss of power at the plant prevented any investigation into the cause of the explosions or how much damage was done to the facility. Likewise, he said there was no estimate yet on the extent of damage to surrounding neighborhoods.

Troy Monk, TPC’s director of health, safety and security, said that two TPC employees and a contractor injured in the first blast were treated at hospitals and released. Branick said one worker suffered burns and the others had a broken wrist and a broken leg, adding it’s a miracle no one died.

The about 30 employees working at the plant at the time of the explosion were accounted for, according to TPC.

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Texas has seen multiple petrochemical industry blazes this year, including a March fire that burned for days near Houston and another that killed a worker at a plant in nearby Crosby.

In the March fire, prosecutors filed five water pollution charges against the company that owns the petrochemical storage facility after chemicals flowed into a nearby waterway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Plantexplosion720 Fire rages at Texas chemical plant day after explosions; 50,000 people under evacuation order Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc ef0c6a73-64e0-5037-9ffe-c03e93dc2f4f article   Westlake Legal Group Plantexplosion720 Fire rages at Texas chemical plant day after explosions; 50,000 people under evacuation order Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox news fnc/us fnc ef0c6a73-64e0-5037-9ffe-c03e93dc2f4f article

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