“Mass casualty”: Chemical leak in Texas leaves 2 dead, 6 injured

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A chemical leak in a Texas facility claimed the lives of two people, officials said, while it left six others injured.

The Harris County Fire Marshal said that emergency officials responded after 7:30 to a “mass casualty” incident at the LyondellBasell complex in La Porte.

In a statement, Lyondell Basell said that an acetic acid leak happened on its complex, affecting its acetyls unit area that had been closed for maintenance earlier in the day.

“The leak is stopped and clean-up is in progress,” it said. “Air monitoring continues to demonstrate no levels of concern for the community. All appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified.”

Two contractors were not able to survive the leak, LyondellBasell said. The incident also left five contractors and another employee injured. The chemical industry company said the victims were brought to local hospitals for treatment.

Chemicals involved in the leak were hydrogen iodide, methyl iodide, and methyl acetate, officials revealed to FOX 4 of Dallas/Fort Worth. The station reported that these chemicals can possibly lead to severe burns and are toxic if inhaled. 

A decontamination process is currently being done for the workers, Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen told the Houston Chronicle.

The fire marshal also noted that a “chemical type explosion release” happened but was little and can be put under control within the plant. First responders were seen spraying the plant equipment with water, as shown in a video by Houston’s KTRK-TV.

In a report by FOX 4, officials said that no explosion happened.

No active shelter-in-place order was so far released for the local community, Lee Woodward, City Secretary and Public Information Officer for the City of La Porte said, FOX News reported.