Haz Mat situation at CITGO - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Haz Mat situation at CITGO

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

Crews are responding to a hazardous materials situation at the CITGO refinery in Westlake. 

Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police confirms that a ship at the CITGO docks was leaking Xylene. Sgt. Anderson confirms the spill is contained and there's no on-shore impact. 

According to the OSHA website, Xylene is composed of a mixture of three isomers. It is Insoluble in water. It is instable in heat, sparks or open flame. Xylene can attack coatings such as some forms of plastic and rubber. It has a flammability rating of 3 (severe fire hazard). Chronic Exposure to Xylene can cause central nervous system depression and respiratory irritation including irritation of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. It is a narcotic at high concentrations. Acute exposure signs and symptoms include headache, fatigue, irritability, lassitude, nausea, anorexia, flatulence, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and motor incoordination and impairment of equilibrium. Flushing, redness of the face, a sensation of increased body heat, increased salivation, tremors, dizziness, confusion, and cardiac irritability have also been reported. 

For more information on Xylene, see the OSHA report: [CLICK HERE]

The Red Cross was expecting to provide canteen services to responders.

KPLC had dispatched a crew to the scene at the time of writing. Additional details will be posted to kplctv.com and on 7News Nightcast when they become available. 

All rights reserved. KPLC 2011.

The following is a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

LAKE CHARLES, La.  — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a solvent release in the Calcasieu Ship Channel, south of the I-210 bridge in Lake Charles,  Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles received the report of a potential Xylene spill south of the I-210 bridge at  3:15 p.m. A pollution investigation team has been dispatched to the scene to investigate and air monitoring is being conducted in the area. The source of the spill has not been determined, however boom has been deployed to contain the spill. A 1000-yard safety zone has been set up in the Calcasieu Ship Channel, and the channel is closed to all traffic.

This incident is under investigation. 

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