Chemical Safety Board says accidental valve cover removal caused 2021 deadly acid leak at LyondellBasell in La Porte

LA PORTE, Texas – The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has released its final report on a deadly 2021 acid leak in La Porte.

The findings in the report show that 164,000 pounds of extremely hot acetic acid were released at the LyondellBasell La Porte complex in July 2021.

According to the report, workers had mistakenly removed a valve cover while trying to repair a pipe leak.

Two workers died and two others were seriously injured in the incident. In addition, the facility received an estimated $40 million in property damages.

“As this tragic incident shows, even a simple task can turn deadly if it is not performed properly. There have been similar incidents around the country involving plug valves being inadvertently taken apart when removing connected equipment. It is time to improve the design of these valves and take other protective actions, such as signage and training, before more workers are killed or injured,” said CSB Chairperson Steve Owens.

CSB investigators said better valve design and more worker training is needed to prevent future accidents.

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