Man dies from exposure to chemical at Valero Refinery

Man dies from exposure to dangerous chemical at Valero Refinery
Published: Dec. 3, 2012 at 2:37 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:11 PM CST
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Valero Refinery
Valero Refinery

(WMC-TV) - One man has died after being exposed to a dangerous chemical at the Valero Refinery Monday morning.

According to Memphis Fire Department spokesman Lieutenant Wayne Cook, two workers and two firefighters were taken to the The MED's burn unit after a sight glass ruptured. Cook said the victims were exposed to a mixture of propane and hydrofluoric acid. The two firefighters were transported in non-critical condition.

The identity of the worker who died has not been released yet.

Sight glass is a transparent tube or window used to check the level of a liquid. Details about what caused it to rupture are not clear at this time.

"In that particular system, it was reported that it was propane mixed with hydrofluoric acid and we're not exactly sure how much of the product they actually came in contact with," said Lt. Cook.

According to Valero, there was no explosion and no fire at the plant. There also expect there to be no environmental impact on the community.

The location where this accident occurred at the plant has been shut down. They are investigating, but the regular operations are still ongoing.

The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching an investigation into the deadly accident.

This is not the first time the refinery has made headlines in Memphis. In March, a man died as a result of injuries he sustained during a fire. Two others were also injured in that incident.

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