HCSO: Bellville residents forced to evacuate after gas plant explosion

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BELLVILLE, Texas— The Austin County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a gas plant explosion led to freeway closures and major evacuations Tuesday morning.

Around 6:09 a.m., deputies responded to the Western International Gas Plant located at 7173 Hwy 159 E.

According to deputies, a two-mile evacuation was put in place for residents and businesses within a five-mile radius of the plant. Highway 59 from Bellville into Hempstead has been temporarily closed until further notice.

Deputies have confirmed that no one was at the plant during the time of the explosion.

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