Chemical Leak At DuPont Sends Four To The Hospital - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/22/04

Chemical Leak At DuPont Sends Four To The Hospital

A chlorine leak at the DuPont plant in DeLisle Friday morning sent four people to the hospital.

DuPont's plant manager Pat Nichols told WLOX News the leak occurred around 8:00 a.m. in a chlorine re-circulation pipeline. About five pounds of chlorine was released, according to the MDEQ.

Four contract workers who were working in the vicinity of the leak were transported to Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport. Three others were treated onsite.

DuPont officials say no chlorine escaped the plant perimeter and did not pose any danger to nearby residents.

Earl Ethridge with MDEQ confirmed there was a cloud of chlorine which remained inside DuPont property.

"No warning was issued because the chlorine did not reach the area of the plant that would trigger the warning system," Ethridge said.

MDEQ is investigating the leak.

The chief of Harrison County's fire service said DuPont officials did not call him until and hour and a half after the leak. That concerns George Mixon. He told WLOX News, "DuPont handle the situation poorly."

"We have to look at the whole community picture," Mixon said. "We have an interstate alongside the plant, and a school nearby, we have a neighborhood across the street. When there's ambulances called taking people to a medical facility, wouldn't it be nice if everybody knows about it and you don't keep it a secret?"

The extent of the injuries to the seven workers is not known, but officials say they suffered complication from inhaling chlorine.

MDEQ says there was no risk to the community because the wind was light, but if the wind had been stronger it could have posed a problem for people in the area.

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