4 Workers Die at La Porte Plant

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La Porte, TX -- Four workers died when a toxic gas leaked from the DuPont Chemical Plant.  

At 4am, the chemical methyl mercaptanused was accidently released.  "It's a toxic material.  It's on multiple lists.  It commands the highest level of regulatory scrutiny, so when there are this many deaths associated with a chemical like that it raises all sorts of questions.  Ultimately, of course, we want to learn why this happened in detail so that it can be prevented in the future.  In as much as four people tragically died in this, there was obviously some sort of breakdown, so we'll have to figure out what that was," said the Chemical Safety Board managing director Daniel Horowitz.

Symptoms of exposure to this chemical are respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; headaches, dizzliness, nasea,vomiting, coma, and death.

The chemical is stored in liquid form, but when exposed to oxygen, it turns into a gas.  There was a broken valve that caused the exposure.  A shelter in place was called while the valve was being replaced.