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One person killed in Houston warehouse explosion

Mar 8, 2007 | AP

One person was killed during an explosion Thursday at a southeast Houston warehouse for a rubber manufacturing company, authorities said.

The explosion occurred at 11:25 a.m. inside the warehouse of American Elastomer Products. The blast blew out the building's windows as well as some of its walls.

While the warehouse suffered heavy damage, the structural integrity of the building remained sound, said Houston Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Omero Longoria.

One man, whose name was not immediately released, was killed, Longoria said.

No other injuries were reported, and surrounding buildings in the industrial park were not evacuated. No toxic chemicals were released as a result of the blast.

The cause of the explosion is still being investigated but preliminary reports indicate a metal container used in the manufacturing process failed, Longoria said.

About 45 employees work at the warehouse, which is part of Houston-based American Packing and Gasket Co., a fabricator and distributor of hydraulic seals, industrial hose couplings and other rubber products.

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