Houston Matters

Regulators Make Safety Recommendations To DuPont After Deadly Leak

It’s been nearly a year since four workers died in a toxic gas leak at the DuPont chemical plant in La Porte. Last week, federal investigators presented their findings. Houston Matters€™ Maggie Martin discusses the report with News 88.7 reporter Syeda Hasan. Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board say flawed safety procedures, design problems […]

It’s been nearly a year since four workers died in a toxic gas leak at the DuPont chemical plant in La Porte. Last week, federal investigators presented their findings.

Houston Matters€™ Maggie Martin discusses the report with News 88.7 reporter Syeda Hasan.

Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board say flawed safety procedures, design problems and inadequate planning led to the toxic gas leak at the DuPont chemical plant In November 2014. Nearly 24,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan leaked into the plant in the middle of the night. Four workers died from exposure to the toxic gas.

The facility was supposed to be tested annually for ventilation flow, but that never happened. In the building where the workers died, two rooftop ventilation fans were not working, despite an €œurgent€ work order written nearly a month earlier.

Investigators say the building was not equipped with an adequate toxic gas detection system.

After a seven-month on-site investigation, the board has issued recommendations for DuPont. That includes safer building design, promising public accountability and sharing plans for restarting the La Porte facility with workers and unions.

DuPont has previously stated that it€™s cooperating with government agencies, and is seeking their input before resuming operations at the La Porte site.

MORE: Federal Regulators Make Safety Recommendations To DuPont After Deadly Leak (News 88.7, Sept. 30, 2015)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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