DuPont Chemical Leak Kills Four After Plant Cited for Dozens of Safety Violations

Originally published on November 19, 2014, at

A chemical leak killed four employees and left a fifth hospitalized at a DuPont plant in Texas this weekend. Since 2007, the Texas chemical plant has been cited dozens of times for violating state and federal laws. According to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), a gas leak and an explosion at separate DuPont facilities in 2010 resulted in two more fatalities.

Around 4am on Saturday, approximately 100 pounds of methyl mercaptan leaked from the DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas. Methyl mercaptan is a toxic chemical used in DuPont’s insecticide manufacturing process. Company representatives claim a faulty valve caused the exposure resulting in four fatalities and a fifth employee hospitalized.

While working an overtime shift, Robert “Bobby” Tisnado ran into the facility to help another employee inside when the chemical leak occurred. After Bobby did not return, his older brother Gilbert “Gibby” Tisnado ran inside to help him. When Gibby found his brother on the floor, he placed his facemask on his little brother. Neither survived.

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