HOUSTON: A massive explosion ripped through a building in Houston, Texas early on Friday, injuring at least one person, shattering windows and creating a noise heard by people across a wide area, officials and media said.
Smoke and flames could be seen billowing from the area around the blast and emergency vehicles converged on the area.
“This is still an active scene. Avoid the area,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said on Twitter.
“We will advise of the possible cause of the explosion as soon as we have concrete info,” he said.
A hazardous materials team was responding to the area and at least one person was taken to the hospital, the Houston Fire Department said on Twitter.
The explosion took place in Gessner Road, in the northwest of the city, Houston police said in a Twitter post.
ABC’s local affiliate KTRK said residents had reported broken windows and doors from the blast and said at least one person had been seen with injuries.
It said the blast appeared to have originated at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, a machining and manufacturing company.
The company did not respond to a phone call.
The blast occurred at around 4.25am.
Mike Iscovitz, a meteorologist with the local Fox News channel, said the huge blast had shown up on local weather radar and was felt more than 32km away.
“Radar clearly shows this brief FLASH of reflectivity from NW Houston,” he tweeted.