CEO apologizes for fire at Texas petrochemical tank facility

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Firefighters arrive at the site where the Intercontinental Terminals Company petrochemical fire reignited, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Deer Park, Texas. The efforts to clean up a Texas industrial plant that burned for several days this week were hamstrung Friday by a briefly reignited fire and a breach that led to chemicals spilling into the nearby Houston Ship Channel. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The chief executive of a Houston-area petrochemical storage company has apologized more than a week after a fire erupted, causing school closures , an order for residents to stay indoors and the partial closure of a critical commercial waterway.

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Intercontinental Terminals Company CEO Bernt Netland said in a brief video posted Wednesday to YouTube that he's "very sorry" for the fire's effect on the area southeast of Houston.

Also Wednesday, Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia called Netland and other senior ITC executives "cowardly" for not being more visible and transparent in the aftermath of the dayslong fire that began March 17. Garcia's district includes the tank farm in Deer Park.

All of the Houston Ship Channel was reopened to daytime traffic Wednesday after flammable chemicals seeped into the busy channel.