LyondellBasell Leak: Reporting of a 2021 Fatal Accident in La Porte Texas Identifies Risks Faced by Petrochemical Workers

La Porte, Texas (KTRK) – A new report shows how critical the lack of training and awareness surrounding a piece of equipment has become for some in the petrochemical industry.

In July 2021, an acid leak broke out inside the Lyondale plant in La Porte. It was an accident that killed and injured many workers.

RELATED: 2 dead, 30 hospitalized in chemical spill at LyondellBasell chemical plant in La Porte

A lawyer representing one of them explained what he said his client happened while they were working on Valve.

“They were unscrewing the wrong bolts, and they came out with over 100,000 pounds of acid,” said Benny Agosto, managing partner of Abraham Watkins.

This week, ABC13 learned more about how that happened. The US Chemical Safety and Hazards Investigation Board has looked into the accident since it occurred nearly two years ago.

The independent federal agency released a nearly 40-page report. In it, the agency says untrained workers removed the wrong part of the valve.

In doing so, he released 164,000 pounds of acid. Two people died, and another 30 had to go to hospital.

It cost LyondellBasell $40 million in losses due to damage to the facility. The report does not focus solely on this incident.

It identifies other incidents where valve problems have occurred.

“They’re really after them to establish a pattern of use of these valves that need to be updated. They need to be replaced,” Agosto explained.

The report also specifies what needs to be done to prevent future incidents. It says the valve must be changed to prevent human error. Also, better training and procedures should be done for the people who work with it. Signage and warnings are required around the device.

“We hope that these changes will make a difference in the future of other workers or other families so that people in this situation will suffer and suffer,” Agosto said.

We’ve reached out to LyondellBassell about the report to see if there are plans to implement the recommended changes. So far, we have not received any response.

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