GEISMAR — A power failure at Westlake Chemical’s Geismar complex triggered a chemical release Wednesday afternoon that sent three contract workers to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales.
The incident occurred just after 3 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop A spokesman Russell Graham said.
The three workers were treated for inhalation injuries and released.
No evacuations were necessary for the surrounding area, Graham said.
The three workers were pouring concrete at the site when the incident occurred, said Rick Webre, director of Ascension Parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Webre said an undetermined amount of polyvinyl chloride was released.
The cause of the power outage has not been determined, Graham said, but State Police and Hazmat teams were on site.
At 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, less than two hours after the chemical release, Westlake Chemical Corp.’s Houston office announced the vinyl chloride monomer unit at its Geismar complex, damaged by a fire in late March, had been safely repaired and restarted.
“With the restart of this unit the overall site is now fully operational,” the company said in an emailed news release.
“Westlake continues to cooperate with governmental authorities, including OSHA, EPA, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and law enforcement, regarding the investigation into the factors contributing to the fire,” the news release said.
“The company is working with its customers and suppliers to mitigate the impact of the outage and to meet their needs as production resumes,” the statement said.