Bad Chemical Reaction Causes Fire At Lubrizol Plant

Nov. 18, 2015
An oxidizer is to blame for the blaze near Pittsburgh.

A chemical reaction gone wrong caused a three-alarm fire at Lubrizol Corp.’s Oilfield Chemistry plant near Pittsburgh on Nov. 17.

According to plant manager Ed Michalowski, "We were working with a chemical, an oxidizer, that had an adverse reaction. We don't know the full details of it yet. We're still doing some investigation."

Two buildings caught fire from the initial chemical plant fire. Two chemicals were being released from the fire, ammonium persulfate and sodium chlorite.

One Lubrizol employee suffered chemical burns. Michalowski said he was near the initial reaction and was able to pull the fire alarm. Two other employees were taken to the hospital because of chest pains, likely caused by stress. All three were released from hospitals in the afternoon.

Read the rest of the article and view a short video of the blaze and clean-up efforts.

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