Concerns over release of potentially fatal gas

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

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

One hospital official said he had not seen any injuries associated with chemical burns or fumes so far.

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Fertiliser plant owner sued

The owner of a fertiliser plant that exploded last week killing 14 people and destroying dozens of homes and an apartment complex in a tiny Texas town is being sued by a single mom and by several insurance companies.