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Arkema executives appear in court for chemical explosions during Harvey

A grand jury indicted Arkema North America, its CEO Richard Rowe, and plant manager Leslie Comardelle.

HOUSTON - Two top executives at Arkema appeared in court Monday, facing charges connected to a plant explosion last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Their bail wat set at $20,000 each.

A grand jury indicted Arkema North America, its CEO Richard Rowe, and plant manager Leslie Comardelle. The jury concluded Arkema was reckless and responsible for allegedly releasing toxic gas.

Chemicals in the plant had to be kept frozen. But temperatures rose after floodwaters knocked out the plant’s power, causing several explosions.

In a statement, Arkema said they planned for severe weather, but Harvey was something no plant could prepare for.