US/World

9 Hurt in Texas City Hydrochloric Acid Leak, Thousands Forced to Stay Indoors

acid
Hydrochloric acid is a commonly used industrial chemical that has a corrosive effect on human tissue and can potentially seriously damage the lungs, eyes, skin and intestines. maticulous/flickr

Nine people were sent to the hospital after a toxic cloud formed from the 300 gallons of hydrochloric acid that had leaked from a Southeast Texas storage facility, according to officials who issued a lockdown Wednesday night for all Texas City residents.

Local emergency authorities lifted the shelter-in-place order just shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday after workers cleaned up most of the hydrochloric acid spill and residents are no longer required to stay indoors, according to the Associated Press.

The toxic cloud that formed across the city after a tank rupture Tuesday night at the Dallas Group of America's plant located along the coast of Galveston Bay, according to KFDA.

More than 45,000 locals in Texas City were ordered by emergency management officials to stay indoors, turn off all air conditioning units and ensure that all windows and doors were closed until the vapor cloud dissolved.

Officials at the Texas Emergency Management Office say that nine people have been hurt in the chemical leak, including four firefighters and four plant workers, according to AP. 

Diane Tracy with New Jersey-based Dallas Group of America Inc. told AP that company officials are investigating the accident. Tracy also said that all nine of the victims hurt in the chemical leak accident had been treated and released from hospital care.

None of those exposed to the chemical cloud had life-threatening injuries, according to KTRK.

Hydrochloric acid is a commonly used industrial chemical that has a corrosive effect on human tissue and can potentially seriously damage the lungs, eyes, skin and intestines.

The latest incident is not the first time Texas City residents have dealt with a chemical leak threat. An acid leak was reported at BP's refinery in the port city in March, and last year several dozen homes were evacuated when 250,000 gallons of gasoline spilled after a pipeline rupture.

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