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4 workers in treatment following chemical leak in Texas suburb

Workers at the DuPont industrial plant in La Porte responded to a chemical leak of methyl mercaptan on Nov. 15 at 4 a.m. They managed to contain the hazardous chemical within two hours, but according to a DuPont spokesperson, four workers suffered direct exposure and had to undergo treatment. A fifth remained missing, with local officials on the search. A medical and emergency response team were treating three of the workers at the facility while the fourth was hospitalized.

The spokesperson announced that an investigation into the leak would begin once the location was officially deemed safe to enter. The cause of the industrial accident remained unknown as of the evening of the 15th. A total of 320 workers are employed at the DuPont complex, while four other companies are also located at the facility.

According to the LaPorte emergency management coordinator, the leak was not hazardous for nearby residents of the Houston suburb, though a smell like rotten eggs remained in the neighborhood for some time. Methyl mercaptan, which the La Porte plant uses to create insecticides, is also sometimes an additive to otherwise odorless natural gas.

Employees injured in industrial accidents may be able to claim workers' compensation to pay for their medical bills and time lost. A personal injury lawyer may advise an injured worker to file a lawsuit instead of seeking workers' comp in situations where the accident appears to have been caused due to employer or coworker negligence. A personal injury suit can result in higher settlements, compensating the injured party for their pain and suffering. Surviving family members may be able to sue for wrongful death in situations where a worker has died as a result of a factory accident, as well.

Source: CBS DFW, "4 Workers Treated After Houston-Area Chemical Leak," Nov. 15, 2014

Source: FOX 4 KBTV, "4 workers treated after Houston-area chemical leak", November 15, 2014

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