Last weekend, four workers died and another was injured at a DuPont plant. In the incident that caused the deaths and injury, a faulty valve led to the release of around 100 pounds of methyl mercaptan. This insecticide component is fatal in even small amounts. Our readers in Texas might be interested to learn that the factory where the incident happened has been previously cited for problems.
Since Sept. 1, 2009, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has issued more than two dozen citations at the facility. While many of those citations were minor, at least four of them were because of hazardous emissions. The plant was cited for failing to keep those emissions from being released into the air.
Violations in 2012 and 2014 netted the company $117,375 in penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's standards of air emissions and hazardous waste management aren't being complied with by the facility.
The plant has also been subject to other fines from incidents in 2007 and 2009. Despite all these fines, violations and citations, a spokesperson for DuPont says that environmental stewardship and safety are the company's core values.
Investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are investigating this latest incident, but haven't been able to access the site of the fatal incident. Even with that investigation ongoing, the family members of the four people who were killed likely aren't comforted. Instead of enjoying the festive holiday season, they have to deal with the loss of their loved ones.
When fatal accidents happen because of the negligence of someone else, family members of a person who was killed might opt to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In those cases, understanding the process for seeking compensation might be helpful.
Source: NBC News, "Texas Chemical Plant Where 4 Died Cited for Dozens of Safety Violations" Mike Brunker, Nov. 17, 2014