St. Louis Public Radio News
11:30 am
Fri May 2, 2003

Board: Chemical Leak Could Have Been Prevented

Festus, MO – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says better equipment maintenance could have prevented a chlorine leak near Festus last year.

More than 60 people got sick after more than 48,000 pounds of chlorine were released from a railroad tank car during an unloading at DPC Enterprises.

The board said the company installed an unsuitable hose connecting the chlorine rail tanker to equipment at the plant, adding neither the company not its supplier performed adequate testing to check that the hose was made with the proper alloy.

The panel also said emergency shut-off valves that should have stopped the leak failed to operate.

Phone calls to DPC were not immediately returned Thursday.