On Saturday, four workers died at a DuPont Chemical Plant in La Porte, Texas, due to accidental asphyxiation, after they were exposed to the chemical methyl mercaptan.
Methyl mercaptan is a highly poisonous gas that is the main component in the pesticide Lannate, which is produced by the plant.
The Texas Tribune reported that, “the workers died after an estimated 100 pounds of the chemical methyl mercaptan leaked due to a faulty valve.”
According to Think Progress, although the gas methyl mercaptan “is subject to a number of federal environmental and safety regulations,” those regulations “did not ensure that the plant was a safe place to work.”
KPRC Houston reported that the names of the workers killed by the chemical leak were Gilbert Tisnado, Robert Tisnado, Crystle Wise and Wade Baker.
Robert and Gilbert Tisnado were brothers who worked alongside each other for 6 years. According to USA Today, “When the chemical leak started early Saturday morning, Gilbert rushed in with a gas mask to try and save his brother, relatives said. Tragically, both brothers died.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that Michelle Tisnado, widow of Gilbert Tisnado, has “filed a wrongful death suit against the company and plant manager,” and she is seeking “more than $1 million in damages.”
According to Reuters, reports that came from the coroner’s office on Wednesday, also suggested that, “the victims were not wearing full safety equipment.”
Think Progress reported that the La Porte plant has not been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for seven years, and that during the last inspection it was “issued two serious violations for the safe management of highly hazardous chemicals, which could result in toxic or explosive risks.” The plant was fined a total of $3,400.
According to the Texas Tribune, in the last five years, the plant has also been “cited at least two dozen times by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality” for failing to “perform routine safety inspections, keep equipment in proper working order and prevent unauthorized pollution leaks.”
Benswann.com’s Rachel Blevins joins Ben Swann on RT America to discuss the story: