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Safety

Fatal Accident In Texas Released 23,000 Lb Of Gas

by Andrea Widener
December 8, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 49

Approximately 23,000 lb of methyl mercaptan was released during a deadly accident at DuPont’s facility in La Porte, Texas, the company said late last month. The data were released as part of mandatory reporting to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and local agencies. The accident on Nov. 15 killed four workers and injured another. All were likely responding to the gas leak. In a statement, DuPont said it determined the amount of gas released by measuring what remained in the plant’s containers and pipes after the accident. The accident occurred in the facility’s crop protection unit, which uses methyl mercaptan in the manufacture of insecticides and fungicides. Some methyl mercaptan escaped into the environment, Dupont said. But monitoring by Harris County, where the plant is located, indicated it posed no hazard to the public. The Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board assembled a team in La Porte shortly after the accident; its investigation is ongoing.

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