As Crews Continue Search for Missing Worker at Site of Chemical Plant Blast, Family Clings to Hope

As crews used heavy equipment Friday to search for a missing worker after a chemical-plant explosion in Hood County, his girlfriend continued to call his cellphone in hopes that he would answer or that its ringing would lead rescuers to him.Dylan Mitchell, 27, is presumed dead after a series of blasts and a fire Thursday at the Tri-Chem Industries planet in Cresson, southwest of Fort Worth."He did everything around here," Amber Gutierrez said as she waited for any news from the plant. "He gave his life to this place — literally."Two other employees were injured in the explosion. One — 27-year-old Jason Speegle — remained in serious condition Friday at Parkland Memorial Hospital with burns on his arms and torso, and the other was released from a Granbury hospital.Investigators believe that the explosion at the plant, which opened about a year ago and contained a number of toxic and flammable chemicals, may have been sparked by static electricity from a worker dragging his foot on the floor.The search for Mitchell will continue Saturday, Hood County Fire Marshal Ray Wilson said, but crews have to work slowly as they evaluate the risks of removing debris while chemicals remain to be cleaned up."It's a land mine," Wilson said.Officials do not believe the air quality poses any threat to nearby residents, and the Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring the scene.  Continue reading...

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