Late last night there was a fire and explosion at a chemical plant about three miles from where I live. Luckily, the plant's employees had gone home for the night and it appears that no one was seriously injured. We're all counting ourselves lucky because it could have been much, much worse.
Witnesses reported repeated explosions, fire leaping 100 feet in the air, and a large plume of toxic chlorine gas. Over 10,000 residents in the area were asked to evacuate, but due to the wind direction we weren't among them. I didn't find out about the fire until the alarm clock went off at 6am.
Nobody knows what caused the explosion yet, but we're all counting ourselves lucky down here because it could have been much, much worse. A slow steady rain that began this morning is helping to put out the fire and flush the air of contaminants. The American Red Cross has been providing cots and other supplies to those temporarily dislocated because of the accident, so if anyone wishes to help out I'm sure a donation to them would be appreciated.