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US Cleanup ongoing at Lyondell Texas plant after chemical leak kills two

14:35  25 november  2021
14:35  25 november  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Officials Confirm No Risk of Air Contamination After Leak at Texas Chemical Plant

  Officials Confirm No Risk of Air Contamination After Leak at Texas Chemical Plant The leak, which occurred around 7:35 p.m., killed two people and injured dozens more Tuesday night. The refinery is seen near the Houston Ship Channel, part of the Port of Houston, on March 6, 2019 in Houston, Texas. The company said that air quality monitoring "continues to demonstrate no levels of concern for the community," and the leak was fixed and cleanup was in progress. It also said it was collaborating closely with responders to make sure all employees and contractors who were working in the area of the plant with the leak were accounted for, the Associated Press reported.

By Liz Hampton

a close up of a flower garden: FILE PHOTO: An entrance sign at the LyondellBasell refinery, located near the Houston Ship Channel, is seen in Houston © Reuters/LOREN ELLIOTT FILE PHOTO: An entrance sign at the LyondellBasell refinery, located near the Houston Ship Channel, is seen in Houston

(Reuters) -Cleanup was ongoing on Wednesday after a chemical leak killed two workers and injured 30 others at a LyondellBasell Industries plant in La Porte, Texas, the company said, marking one of the worst U.S. petrochemical accidents since a 2019 Texas blast prompted the evacuation of thousands of people.

The incident occurred on Tuesday evening at the facility's acetyls unit, releasing roughly 100,000 pounds (45,000 kg) of a mixture that included acetic acid. An "all clear" was issued by the company early on Wednesday morning, and air monitoring did not indicate a concern for the local community, Lyondell said.

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The company said 27 of the 30 people taken to local hospitals have been released. The two people who died in the incident were contractors, it said.

The incident is among the worst chemical disasters in the United States since a series of explosions in November 2019 at a TPC Group plant in Port Neches, Texas. Although there were no fatalities and only three injuries in that incident, some 60,000 people within a four-mile (6.4-km) radius were told to evacuate the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board on Wednesday said it was deploying a team to the site. The group is expected to arrive in the afternoon to begin an assessment, a spokesperson said.

An investigation into the leak's cause was underway, and local and federal agencies, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Environmental Protection Agency; and Harris County Judge Office of Emergency Management had already visited the site, Lyondell said.

(Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver and Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Will Dunham, Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft)

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