Houston police have confirmed that at least two people died in the blast, with one plant employee still missing, and a criminal investigation is underway as to the cause — though there's no evidence thus far to suggest an intentional act or terrorism was involved.
Damage to homes was reported up to a half-mile away after it occurred at about 4:15am, some 18-miles away from the downtown area, though people reported being jolted from their sleep for miles across the city. Later in the morning Friday multiple people were reported hospitalized, and others may still be missing.
"We have no evidence at this point ... that an intentional act is involved. Having said that, part of our protocol is always to (start) a criminal investigation" Houston police chief Art Acevedo said, who also ruled out terrorism. "It's going to take days, if not weeks or months, to get a final determination of what's going on here."