At least two workers are dead and four others have been injured as a result of a La Porte LyondellBasell chemical plant leak. As of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, not all workers at the facility had yet been accounted for by company officials or emergency rescue personnel. It is not yet known if the death toll and the number of injured at the La Porte LyondellBasell chemical plant will increase.
A company spokesperson, Chevalier Gray, finally did release a statement regarding the catastrophic events at the Houston area chemical plant. According to the statement, fatal chemical leak at the facility was identified at about 7:30 Tuesday evening. The company spokesperson confirmed that the deadly leak involved a chemical called acetic acid.
Questions are expected to be raised as to how and why workers at the La Porte LyondellBasell chemical plant died after exposure to acetic acid. Guidance regarding the chemical reveals that this chemical becomes dangerous when an individual is exposed to over a more extended period of time.
At this juncture, there simply is no information available as to the specifics regarding this alleged acetic acid leak at the La Porte chemical plant. The situation as it has been reported by company officials thus far raises a number of key issues:
- Were workers exposed to a particularly concentrated level of acetic acid in a short period of time which resulted in their deaths and injuries?
- Were workers exposed to a lower level of acetic acid over an extended period of time?
- What constitutes prolonged exposure to this chemical?
According to LyondellBasell representatives, air monitoring indicates that there is no level of concern for the community surrounding the chemical plant, La Porte more generally, or the section of the City of Houston nearest the plant. It is unclear whether air monitoring was undertaken by the company itself of by a state or local agency vested with the ability to undertake this type of effort.
LaPorte Emergency Management Services has issued a brief statement regarding the LyondellBasell chemical leak and its impact on the community:
“The area is in unincorporated Harris County, adjacent to the city of La Porte. There is no shelter in place or other protective actions being recommended for the La Porte community at this time.”
The LyondellBasell chemical technically is located in unincorporated Harris County, directly outside of the city limits of La Porte. Harris County Judge Line Hidalgo issued a statement via Twitter on Tuesday night:
“Heartbroken to hear of the two fatalities at the LyondellBasell facility in La Porte. Our county and other first responder agencies are working to support the other workers impacted and to verify that the incident is contained. Grateful to all responders.”
Early information surrounding the LyondellBasell chemical leak made reference to a mass casualty event. Technically speaking, in the United States a mass casualty event is defined as one that involves four or more victims. As of 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday, two fatalities have been reported at the LyondellBasell chemical plant. In addition, at least four other people have been transported to area hospitals. Moreover, and as has been noted previously, emergency personnel and plant officials have yet to confirm that all of the plant’s workers are accounted for.
If you or a loved one have been injured in some manner as a result of the LyondellBasell chemical plant accident, The Doan Law Firm has a direct line for people who have any questions. You can reach Jimmy Doan and his LyondellBasell chemical leak attorney team at (832) 835-0000 any time of the day or night. The men and women at The Doan Law Firm understand the unique challenges those involved in the LyondellBasell chemical plant accident face at this time. Our direct line to the La Porte chemical leak lawyer team will be staffed around the clock as the crisis unfolds.
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