So many residents called ABC13 that morning after sensing an explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing.
ABC13’s Jeff Ehling was the first reporter on the scene. He returned to the neighborhood that had almost died out two years ago.
Jeff recounts: “I’ll never forget when the explosion happened. We were 9 miles away preparing for a 4:30am live stream when we heard the explosion and felt the pulse wave. click”. “We knew something big had exploded, but we were shocked to see the damage that day.”
Debris from the company was scattered across the roads for at least a mile.
The factory was still burning while Jeff was on his way to the factory.
“We saw the fire, parts of the building were gone, and then we saw houses in the area around the explosion,” he said.
Many houses were badly damaged and some were beyond repair. Three people were killed in the explosion.
Two years later, some houses have been repaired, but there are still signs of what happened that day. The other houses are still vacant.
People living in the neighborhood still carried the anxiety and fear that tore through their lives that morning.
“It was like it was a bomb or something,” said Christine Chuma. Glass fell on us and everything, and I stood up and saw the house was in ruins, completely destroyed. “The drawers were opened. I mean, the glass was everywhere. All the glass was broken. The garage door was all bent up. The ceiling fell down. That’s crazy.”
There is hope two years later. Chuma has returned to a new home, and even met her new husband while living in a makeshift home.
After the explosion, the City of Houston tightened its regulatory and review processes in the hope that the disaster would never happen again.
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https://abc13.com/watson-grinding-and-manufacturing-explosion-spring-branch-plant-explodes-deadly-northwest-houston-explosions-in/11504591/ Houston Explosion: Today’s Watson Grinding Explosion 2 years ago; 3 houses died and Spring Branch was destroyed