Mexican Snacks chip cooker explodes

Cameron County Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera

An explosion led to a temporary evacuation at a company in Harlingen's industrial park. There is still no word on what may have caused the explosion, but no injuries were reported.

Emergency officials said a chip cooker at Mexican Snacks Incorporated exploded sending metal and concrete shrapnel throughout the room.

The Harlingen Fire Department responded to the explosion shortly after 1 p.m. at the company located off FM 509, between FM 106 and Grimes Road.

Officials said it is unclear what may have caused the giant cooker to explode.

They said equipment made of concrete and metal is used to heat up oil to make chips.

The back room where the cooker is kept was completely destroyed, but no injuries were reported as no one was near the area when the explosion happened.

"With the size of this type of explosion you would expect that someone would be injured or hurt or killed, fortunately it's a miracle. You go into this room and see tremendous amount of damage, when an accident like this happens you expect the worse. Fortunately, there were no injuries everybody will be able to go to their families tonight, Cameron County Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera said. It is unknown if this company has had any previous incidents.

The explosion will set the company back, but it will not cause a permanent shut down, Barrera added.

The Harlingen Fire Department is investigating, and the incident will also be reported to the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.

As of right now, the company is not facing any penalties for violations.