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Evacuation order remains after Texas plant chemical release

LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — An evacuation order for a half-mile (0.8-kilometer) radius from a Houston-area chemical plant remained in place into the night Wednesday as a tanker trailer continued to leak an irritating chemical.

Emergency officials said they continue to play water onto the trailer of hydroxyethyl acrylate, or HEA, at the Dow Chemical facility in an industrial area of La Porte to minimize its continuing explosion threat.

Harris County Pollution Control said in a statement that a tank wagon over-pressurized, which caused a release of the chemical hydroxyethyl acrylate. The chemical can irritate the nose and throat, the statement said.

The chemical release from the over-pressurized trailer prompted a Wednesday morning shelter-in-place order lifted by midday for parts of La Porte, which is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Houston.

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