LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — Records show dozens of minor or moderate state environmental violations over the past five years at a Houston-area chemical plant where four people died from toxic fumes this weekend.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality records for the DuPont plant in La Porte list multiple incidents since 2009, but it has received a satisfactory rating from the state and holds more than 150 environmental permits.
The four employees died Saturday after the release of methyl mercaptan — a chemical used in the manufacture of insecticide and fungicide that causes eye and skin irritation and rapidly affects the respiratory system. The Harris County medical examiner’s office identified the four as 48-year-old Crystle Rae Wise of Groves, 39-year-old Robert Joseph Tisnado of Houston, and 48-year-old Gilbert Tisnado and 60-year-old Wade Baker, both of La Porte.
It’s not clear how the chemical was released, and a team of investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board entered the plant Monday.
Federal officials are investigating the accident.
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