Emergency workers near the scene of the fertiliser plant explosion are concerned about the release of a fertiliser chemical called Anhydrous Ammonia which is potentially fatal.
These are the known health risks:
- Pungent gas with suffocating fumes
- Can cause rapid dehydration and severe burns if combined with water in the body
- Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, irritation of the eyes, nose or throat and burns or blisters.
- Exposure to high concentrations can lead to death
- When released, the gas stays close to ground
- People should be treated by flushing skin and eyes with water for at least 15 minutes
A major rescue effort is ongoing in a Texas town devastated by a fertiliser plant explosion that has been likened to a nuclear bomb blast.
A huge explosion at a fertiliser plant in the Texan town of West has injured more than 160 people and caused widespread destruction.