LyondellBasell Acid Leak Leaves 2 Dead, 42 Injured

Two people have died following a chemical leak at a LyondellBasell Industries facility on Tuesday evening. Some 42 others were injured in the incident, with six of them transported to a local hospital.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office confirmed that officials from its department had responded to a chemical leak at a LyondellBasell facility located in the 1500 block of Miller Cut Off Road in the city of La Porte, Texas, at around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Crews responding to the facility discovered that two people had died, while six more were transported to a local hospital after suffering burns in the incident, according to a statement by LyondellBasell.

The fire marshal's office confirmed that 42 employees were being treated in total, with their injuries ranging from critical to minor, and confirmed all personnel affected by the incident have been accounted for by the chemical company.

The department said that it conducted interviews with employees at the facility and quickly determined that there was no explosion or fire during the leak.

They have subsequently turned the investigation over to Harris County Precinct 8 Constable Phil Sandlin, "who is the authority having jurisdiction regarding this incident."

In a statement on Tuesday evening, LyondellBasell confirmed that the facility suffered a chemical leak of glacial acetic acid, which is used to make medical supplies and food-grade vinegar, according to local station KHOU 11.

The La Porte Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet on Tuesday that there was no impact expected on the surrounding community following the leak.

LyondellBasell said that the incident occurred when the unit was shut down for scheduled maintenance and confirmed that it had been stopped and a clean-up was in progress.

In a press briefing at around 10:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen confirmed that a hazmat team from the department will be performing additional checks at the facility.

"Please keep the families of these victims and those that are injured in your prayers," Christensen said during the briefing. "This is going to be a very long night. This investigation is just starting."

LyondellBasell said in a statement to Click2Houston: "We are saddened to confirm two contractors were fatally injured in this incident. Five contractors and a LyondellBasell employee were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these individuals and their families.

"We appreciate the assistance of emergency responders from the City of La Porte and Channel Industries Mutual Aid who responded to the incident. An investigation into the cause of this incident is already underway."

Newsweek has contacted LyondellBasell Industries and the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office for comment.

Chemical leak leaves two dead
File photo of an ambulance responding to the scene of an emergency. Two people have died following a chemical leak at the LyondellBasell Industries facility in Texas on Tuesday evening, as 42 others were injured in the incident with four of them transported to a local hospital. MattGush/iStock / Getty Images Plus