CSB Animation of Chemical Release at DuPont’s La Porte Facility

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The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released an animation video of the deadly toxic chemical leak that killed four workers and injured three others at the DuPont insecticide plant in La Porte, Texas on November 15, 2014.

The CSB says the leak was the result of flawed safety procedures, design problems, and inadequate planning.

Thousands of pounds of the deadly chemical methyl mercaptan escaped in the middle of the night through two valves in a poorly ventilated manufacturing building. The two workers were killed when the chemical drained from the open valves, filling the room with toxic vapor. Sadly, one of those workers made a distress call, and two additional workers died responding to the call.

According to the CSB, operations personnel in one area of the plant tried to clear blocked piping, while in a different area, two workers opened valves in response to what they believed was a routine, unrelated pressure problem.

The La Porte plant was once a leader in the safety approach known as inherently safer design, according to CSB. A number of changes were made at the site after the devastating 1984 accident in Bhopal, India. Thousands of people were killed at a Union Carbide plant during release of the chemical methyl isocyanate, also used at La Porte.