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Tank Explodes at Westlake Chemical Plant, Injuring 6

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A blast occurred in an empty ethylene dichloride storage tank Wednesday morning at the Sulphur, LA facility.

Six people were injured in a blast Wednesday morning at the Westlake Chemical plant in Sulphur, LA. A tank used to store ethylene dichloride exploded and caught on fire around 10:45 a.m., the company told NBC News affiliate KPLC. The vessel was empty at the time of the incident.

Five people were taken to local hospitals for treatment and one person received treatment on scene. Reports said their injuries were minor.

Images captured from the scene show a large volume of smoke over the chemical plant after the blast.

Several schools and businesses near the plant sheltered in place as a precaution during the response, coverage by the Lake Charles American-Press said. Westlake Chemical spokesperson Joe Andrepont said in an interview with the newspaper that shelter in place order was later lifted as the explosion did not cause any environmental issues in the area

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is underway.

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