Chemical exposure linked to fire earlier this year at plant causes employee’s hospitalizations

A chemical that leaked at a power plant in Richmond Thursday was being used to clean up damage from a fire that took place at the facility in May, officials confirmed.

“The chemical that was involved was a biodegradable degreaser,” said Assistant Chief Doug Barnes, Fort Bend County Fire Marshal’s Office.

SEE ALSO: 5 employees at power plant taken to the hospital following chemical leak, officials say

That “biodegradable degreaser” used is linked to a previous incident at the same power plant.

Nearly 100 firefighters from over 20 different agencies battled and contained a fire at the WA Parish Generating Station on May 9. Unit 8 caught fire then.

At the time of the fire, officials told KPRC 2 that part alone generated power for up to 12,000 homes.

The unit remains closed for power production, as the investigation into what happened continues.

SEE ALSO: ERCOT monitoring aftermath of fire at power plant in Fort Bend County, officials say

Officials said the “biodegradable degreaser” was overused this week, leading to excess inhalation among the employees treated for injuries.

“The chemical was contained in the building. They were using the chemical to clean post-fire that happen here back in May,” said Assistant Chief Barnes.


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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.