Explosion that shook Cypress

Ashley Swedlund, Reporter

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As a citizen living in the United States, waking up to see your house shaking beneath you as the shock waves of an explosion pass through is easily one of the worst feelings. The questions running through your mind are overwhelming, and you first instinct to gather your loved runs and take them somewhere safe.

 

That’s what the residents living in Cypress experienced as an explosion rattled neighborhoods around 4:20 in the morning, sending debris flying into lawns and even leaving some homes damaged or destroyed.

 

This explosion wasn’t the result of a bombing run of any sort, but instead it was at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing- a Northwest Houston business. The explosion pushed houses and buildings off of their foundations. At first there were no reports of fatalities, but the deaths of two people were later announced to the public a couple of days later.

 

The investigation is underway, and fortunately,  no evidence of terrorism or intentional acts caused the blast have been collected, but they have yet to reach a solid conclusion, and may take months to do so.

 

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD closed two schools due to limited access, and the schools that still held normally scheduled classes kept students inside due to air quality concerns.

 

Just last year, in the April of 2019, a similar event occurred when a Houston gas plant exploded in Crosby, Texas. Many school districts around that area closed due to the air quality. And despite the explosion occurring on the opposite side of Houston, the amount of harmful gases that was released into the air had Katy-ISD measuring and updating students about the air quality throughout the entire day. 

 

The explosion in Crosby was much worse than the one in Cypress in terms of the amount of harmful gasses that were released into the air, it was no wonder nearby school districts had school canceled for days afterward. But the explosion in Cypress still released a fair amount of gas into the air before the leak was contained, and most students in Cypress-Fairbanks had to go to school that same day. It’s easy to imagine how confused and distressed students were that day, worried and unsure if the environment was even safe for them to be in.

 

Officials urge residents living near the explosion in Cypress to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere, and the Red Cross is currently housing 48 of those residents. The disaster scene at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing is still closed off to the public and is still being investigated.