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Ellis County Chemical Spill Caused By Alcohol, Ferrets

LP Phillips, KRLD L.P. Phillips
  L.P. Phillips is an Edward R. Murrow Award winning investigative...
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UPDATE (7/10/13) — KRLD reported that chemical trucks involved in several accidents in Ellis County were operated by Magnablend. While the trucks were transporting material to or from the Magnablend facility in Waxahachie, the trucks were not operated by Magnablend but were actually operated by independent trucking companies, including Alliance Transport Inc. and Harris Transportation Group LLC. KRLD regrets this error.

WAXAHACHIE (CBSDFW.COM) – A wreck west of Waxahachie last month caused a county road to be shut down while a haz mat team cleaned up the toxic chemicals.

Now, a DPS report on the accident blames high speeds, an unsecured load, illegal alcohol possession, and two loose ferrets that distracted the driver.

“I’ve heard of dogs running loose in a truck, but never ferrets running loose in a truck,” said David Vance, who lives nearby in Ellis County.

Vance has been a critic of the Magnablend chemical company since it relocated to the former Superconducting Supercollider site in Ellis County. He has been worried about truck accidents since the move.

Since March, chemical trucks operated by Magnablend have been involved in three hazardous material spills that have required state intervention.

“His focus should be strictly on the road,” said Vance. “But when you mix in a distraction — while he’s speeding — on a dangerous road…that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.”

A call put into Magnablend has not been returned.

In October 2011, a Magnablend chemical plant burned after employees mishandled chemicals. Magnablend was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for seven serious violations and levied a $45,000 fine in the incident.

Magnablend was formed in 1979 and is a privately held Texas corporation specializing in custom chemical manufacturing.

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