Over the weekend, a chemical leak at a DuPont plant killed four workers. While the plant had been cited previously for safety violations, federal inspectors hadn’t inspected the facility since 2007. The 2007 inspection, performed by inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), cited four serious safety violations, including violations of safe management for hazardous chemicals.
In the chemical leak this past weekend, an estimated 100 pounds of methyl mercaptan leaked throughout the plant. Unfortunately, even the smallest amount of exposure can be fatal. It has since been discovered that this toxic chemical leak was caused by a faulty valve.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also brought formal enforcement actions against the DuPont plant for 2012 and 2014 violations that cost the plant $117,375 in penalties.
DuPont stated that they are taking steps to make sure the area is safe to access. With regards to the multiple safety violations, DuPont states they “are committed to meeting or exceeding all applicable state and federal regulatory requirements.”
Four workers were killed at a DuPont chemical plant in La Porte, Texas, on Saturday, November 15, after an early morning chemical leak. According to reports, a leak of methyl mercaptan was reported at around 4:00 am CST at the plant, located less than 30 miles outside of Houston. In addition to the four reported fatalities, another worker was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover from complications related to exposure to the chemical. Authorities say that the leak poses no danger to those living near the plant.
The gas leak was stopped at around 6:00 am, but the initial cause of the leak is still unknown at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.