Chlorine Leak at Dow Chemical Plant In Plaquemine, Louisiana
On Monday, April 18th, 2022, a chlorine gas leak occurred at the Olin Chemical unit inside Dow Chemicals’ huge facility near Plaquemine, Louisiana. Around 8:38 p.m., a compressor caught fire causing the Olin Chemical production unit to leak liquid chlorine which quickly vaporized into the air. Residents in the surrounding areas were forced to shelter in their homes for several hours as a large cloud of smoke and gas rose and lingered in the area.
Emergency responders reported that the chlorine had, in fact, escaped to the south toward Plaquemine residents. Although Olin officials reported “no injuries” from the leak, Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso stated that 39 residents were hospitalized due to the leak. This is not the first incident of its kind to occur at the Dow facility. There have been three other chlorine leaks between 2016 and 2017 that had prompted employee evacuations and road closures.
When liquid chlorine is released, it quickly transforms into a heavy gas that stays low to the ground with the ability to spread rapidly. It is vital to note that chlorine gas is very different from the typical chlorine smell associated with swimming pools. Rather, it has a very strong odor that is similar to that of ammonia or bleach. Immediate signs and symptoms of chlorine exposure can include burning pain, redness, blisters on the skin, coughing, chest tightness, nausea and vomiting, a burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes, and blurred vision.
The shelter-in-place order has been lifted, however; the source of the fire and leak is still under investigation. Olin Corporation has yet to release to the Department of Environmental Quality how much chlorine was released during the incident.
If you were working in or live near the Dow Chemical facility near Plaquemine and believe you were exposed to the dangerous gas, you should immediately seek medical attention. A chlorine gas leak is a serious hazard to your health and should not be taken lightly. The Potts Law Firm is committed to helping those who have been impacted by the chemical leak and are here to help you heal and move on with your life. Please call (888) 420-1299 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation where we can discuss your legal rights.