Fire at Westlake Chemical Petro 1 Unit now contained

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2021 at 2:20 PM CDT
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Heavy flaring at Westlake Chemical after a fire in the plant's Petro 1 Unit.

Sulphur, LA (KPLC) - A fire at Westlake Chemical’s Petro 1 Unit has been contained, company officials say.

The fire brigade has extinguished 90 percent of the fire, said Joe Andrepont, spokesperson for Westlake Chemical.

Everyone in the unit has been accounted for and no injuries have been reported, Andrepont said. Westlake is still working to account for workers in other areas.

There is currently no off-site impact, according to Dick Gremillion, head of Calcasieu Parish head of Emergency Preparedness.

“Not sure exactly what happened,” Gremillion said. “That’ll be for investigators to find out but the good thing is there were no chemicals involved that could have involved a public protection action. Because of a combination of the product and the way the wind was blowing today, it did not pose a hazard.”

Andrepont said lube oil off a compressor caught fire. The unit was already down.

The heavy black smoke people are seeing is coming from flares, according to Andrepont.

“t was no chemical release - it was a lube oil fire from one of the actual compressor decks,” said Derek Senegal, spokesperson for Louisiana State Police. “The fire, smoke, whatever you saw, that was just from the flares from that particular section they isolated.”

“This should be in the clear, you are probably gonna see flares; but those people shouldn’t feel alarmed, you see those all the time,” Gremillion said.

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