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2 Dead After Massive Acetic Acid Leak at LyondellBasell Plant

100,000 lb of acetic acid was reportedly leaked at the firm’s La Porte, TX chemical plant Tuesday evening.

John S. Forrester

July 28, 2021

1 Min Read
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A view of the LyondellBasell complex in La Porte, TX.Image courtesy of LyondellBasell

Emergency personnel were called to the LyondellBasell complex in La Porte, TX Tuesday evening after about 100,000 lb of acetic acid leaked at the facility, local and national news organizations reported.

The company contacted several emergency response agencies around 7:30 p.m., alerting them to a “mass casualty incident” at the Miller Cut Off Road facility.

“The leak has been isolated, and air monitoring at the facility perimeter indicates no offsite impact,” a post on the Harris County Fire Marshal Facebook page said. “There have been two confirmed deaths as a result of the incident and 42 patients, with injuries ranging from critical to minor. All personnel have been accounted for according to LyondellBasell.”

Two contractors died during the event, a statement issued by the company said. Coverage by Houston Public Radio stated that 30 people have been hospitalized.

“This unit was shut down earlier today for planned maintenance. The leak is stopped, and clean-up is in progress. Air monitoring continues to demonstrate no levels of concern for the community,” LyondellBasell wrote in an update at around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The Fire Marshal said early Wednesday that no explosion or fire was reported during the incident.

LyondellBasell’s La Porte complex houses assets to support its The Equistar Chemicals and Acetyls business. The company has manufacturing units at the site that produce vinylacetate monomer (VAM) and acetic acid, information on the firm’s website states. Acetic acid is used in the food industry and other markets.

About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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