Two Dead After Texas Chemical Leak

July 29, 2021
A leak at LyondellBasell’s La Porte, Texas, complex released 100,000 pounds of acetic acid

A leak resulting from a cap that burst on a pressurized line of acetic acid at LyondellBasell’s La Porte, Texas, complex caused the death of two contract workers and injured 30 others. The names of the contractors who died were not immediately released.

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 in the evening of July 27 at the complex. The company said that the “all clear” was given early July 28, 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 a local fire marshal.

An article in The Guardian notes that 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.

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