Deer Park, Texas: Evacuation Recommended After 80,000 Gallons of Acrylic Acid Begins Overheating in Major Chemical Complexgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Deer Park, Texas: Evacuation Recommended After 80,000 Gallons of Acrylic Acid Begins Overheating in Major Chemical Complex
Deer Park, TX, United States 3/29/2000
A tank containing 80,000 gallons of acrylic acid began overheating this morning at Rohm and Haas Houston chemical plant. The exothermic reaction raised the threat of an explosion and has prompted an evacuation of several chemical plants in a one-mile radius around the problem tank.
Company spokesman Jack Coe said, "It started overheating so we thought further action was needed. We did make the decision because of the potential for the tank to explode, we thought it would be proper to recommend a one-mile evacuation."
None of the chemial had leaked and officials at the plant were spraying the 250,000 gallon tank with water in attempts to cool it.
The area is near the Phillips petroleum Company plant that exploded Monday, killing one person and sending 71 others to the hospital. (See CSB CIRC Incident #4763 for details of that incident.)
While the Phillips plant was not included in the evacuation area, at least 13 other chemical plants were within the one-mile radius, including part of a major Shell Oil Co. refinery.
The Coast Guard closed the nearby Ship Channel for about 1 and 1/2 miles in each direction from the plant, between buoys 132 and 139, spokesman Rob Wyman said.
"We felt like it was prudent on our part to take these precautions," said Coe.
No residential areas were believed affected by the recommended evacuation, he said.
The acrylic acid, a flammable liquid that could cause irritation to skin, eyes and throat, is used in numerous products ranging from paint to diapers.
-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), March 29, 2000