Two people have died and dozens are injured in Texas after a leak at a chemical processing plant.
Chemical company LyondellBasell said in a statement Tuesday evening that its La Porte Complex experienced an “acidic leak.”
Two contractors were “fatally injured” as a result of the incident, the company said in a follow-up statement. Five additional contractors and a LyondellBasell employee were transported to local hospitals for injuries.
“Air monitoring continues to demonstrate no levels of concern for the community,” LyondellBasell said.
The incident occurred at around 7:35 p.m., Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen said in a news conference.
Christensen said her office is labeling the incident a “chemical explosion” until it learns more from an investigation.
The explosion only occurred inside inside the plant, Christensen said.
The chemicals involved were methyl iodide, hydrogen iodide and methyl acetate, which is used in food-grade vinegar. The chemicals could cause severe burns and can be harmful if swallowed, toxic if inhaled and harmful to the skin.
Thirty-one patients were able to move around after the incident. Five people were treated on scene.
One person was flown to the hospital, while another was sent by ambulance.
There was no explosion or fire that led to the leak, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said on Twitter.