What’s the Problem?
The fire started after chlorine leaked from a BioLab chemical plant that manufactures pool chlorine and cleaning products in Westlake, Louisiana, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We know it’s a serious situation,” said Governor Edwards. “As this type of chlorine began to decompose, it generates heat, and it began to burn, releasing chlorine gas into the atmosphere.”
A tweet from the governor advised residents in the communities of Westlake, Moss Bluff and Sulphur to shut doors and windows, turn off air conditioning, and shelter in place.
“Chlorine is very, very toxic,” said Rob Verchick, an environmental law professor at Loyola University. “If a plume of chlorine gas is going into the air and people are exposed to it, that’s extremely serious. People could die.”
The gas can be recognized by its pungent, irritating odor, which smells like bleach. Exposure to chlorine may cause burning pain, blurred vision, and difficulty breathing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
BioLab’s corporate parent said the facility had been shut down and evacuated ahead of the storm, and that no employees were injured. A police spokesperson said hurricane winds of over 100 mph appeared to be a factor, although the cause remains under investigation.
“Accidents like this happen every time we have a storm, and the unfortunate thing is this is a trend that’s just going to continue to get larger and larger with climate change and more intense storms,” Verchick said. “Companies compete against one another. They want to be safe of course, but it costs money to think about long term risks.”
Do I Have a BioLab Chemical Plant Fire Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in BioLab Chemical Plant Fire Class Action Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new personal injury and property damage cases in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one suffered health effects from the BioLab chemical fire, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.