Chemical leak at Houston facility leaves two dead and 30 people hospitalized

A large chemical leak at a plant in the Houston area has killed two people and left 30 people hospitalized, amptenare gesê het.

A statement from the LyondellBasell company said that about 100,000 pounds (45,359 kilograms) of a mixture that primarily included acetic acid was released in the leak that started Tuesday evening at its La Porte Complex. The company said that the “all clear” was given early Wednesday, and that the leak had been isolated and contained.

The company said air monitoring was ongoing and hasn’t shown “actionable levels”. The chemicals involved in the leak can severely burn skin and are toxic if inhaled, according to Laurie Christensen, the Harris county fire marshal.

Two contractors were killed and 30 workers were taken to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment, the company said. Van daardie, het dit gesê 27 had been released as of Wednesday afternoon. The names of the contractors who died were not immediately released.

The cause was under investigation, the company said, adding it was cooperating with authorities.

Dimetra Hamilton, a spokesperson for the county’s pollution control department, told the Houston Chronicle that a cap burst on a pressurized line of acetic acid.

According to LyondellBasell, its La Porte Complex, located on about 550 hektaar (223 hectares) on the shore of the Houston Ship Channel, has over 600 employees and contractors. The company has two businesses there, one dealing with chemicals, the other with acetyls, which is where the leak occurred.

The company said acetic acid is produced to meet requirements for shipping in the food industry and is used in textiles, plastic bottles, industrial solvents and other chemicals.

Last week in La Porte, evacuation and shelter-in-place orders were issued after a chemical release at a Dow Chemical plant there. A tank truck trailer had over-pressurized, causing the chemical hydroxyethyl acrylate to escape through a safety valve. The orders were later lifted.

La Porte is located about 25 myl (40 kilometers) south-east of Houston. The plant is in an unincorporated part of Harris county, adjacent to La Porte, according to a statement issued by La Porte EMS, and no shelter in place or other protective actions were recommended for the community.

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