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Chemical scare prompts evacuations in Louisiana

August 20, 2012
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BELLE CHASSE, La. — A chemical reaction in a tank at the Sun Drilling Chemical Co. plant in Belle Chasse, La., Friday prompted a mandatory evacuation of nearby residents and some government buildings, HoumaToday.com reported.

Officials originally believed a lightning strike sparked a fire in the chemical tank, releasing chemicals and prompting road closures.

However, it was later revealed that a chemical reaction inside the tank, which contained about 2,000 gallons of divinylbenzene, caused the release.

A crew used nitrogen to cool the tank and brought in a chemical stabilizer to stop the reaction.

Officials deemed the site safe Saturday morning.

According to the company’s website, Sun Drilling Chemical Co. manufactures specialty drilling fluid additives (DFA).

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