Fire Out at Westlake Petro Chemical

May 31, 2007

Reported by KPLC Staff

The fire at Westlake Petro Chemical was put out around 3:30am. Today plant officials are taking inventory of the damage and assessing what repairs will be needed.

Currently other parts of the plant are being used to produce Ethylene and the fire will not be affecting the number of employees at the plant.

Lightning is being blamed for a chemical fire at a Sulphur plant at Hwy 108.  It started at Westlake Petro Chemical around 5:30pm on Wednesday as storms rolled through the lake area. Plant officials say workers reported seeing lightning strike one of the towers used to transport Ethylene, a chemical used to make plastic pellets, causing the tower to ignite in flames.

Emergency crews worked throughout the night to removed the remaining Ethylene and move it safely to another container. No one was injured and none of the local residents had to be evacuated. Only one road was closed while crews removed the flammable Ethylene.

Ethylene is used to make plastic grocery bags, toys, and medical waste barrels. Nearly Three hundred people are employed at Westlake Petro Chemical.