4 workers killed after Houston-area chemical leak

This undated image shows a sign a a DePont Facility in Laporte, Texas. A chemical leak occurred around 4 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, inside an operations building at the DuPont facility, in La Porte, an industrial suburb 22 miles east of Houston. Four workers received medical treatment and a fifth employee remained missing after the chemical leak. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Marie D. De Jesus)
Randall Clements, left, plant manager of DuPont facility in LaPorte and DuPont spokesman Aaron Woods, right, walk out the plant to speak to the media Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, about the a gas release that killed four employees. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Marie D. De Jesus)

LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — DuPont officials say four workers were killed during a hazardous chemical leak at a suburban Houston industrial plant.

The chemical, methyl mercaptan, began leaking around 4 a.m. Saturday in a unit at the DuPont plant in La Porte, an industrial suburb 22 miles east of Houston. Plant officials say the release was contained by 6 a.m.

Plant manager Randall Clements says in a statement that several employees had responded to the leak when they were exposed.

The hazardous chemical is used to create crop-protection products such as insecticides.

A fifth worker is hospitalized. That worker’s condition was not immediately known.

La Porte emergency management coordinator Jeff Suggs says the chemical released wasn’t harmful to area residents but it created a smell that’s similar to rotten eggs.

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