A toxic gas leak at a Texas chemical plant hospitalized eight individuals and prompted a ‘shelter-in-place’ emergency order.

“This is an emergency message from the City of La Porte. A chemical emergency has occurred, and residents south of Fairmont between Bay Area and S. 16th Street need to immediately shelter in place. Please proceed to the nearest building to seek shelter. Close all doors and windows and turn off cooling or heating systems,” the La Porte Office of Emergency Management stated.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted later Monday afternoon.

“Earlier this afternoon, La Porte issued a shelter-in-place for an industrial area south of Fairmont between Bay Area and S. 16th St. after a chemical leak at Altivia. The leak has now stopped, and La Porte has lifted the shelter-in-place,” the Office of Judge Lina Hidalgo wrote.

“8 people were transported from Altivia due to exposure, and all were stable at the time of leaving the facility. Emergency teams have started demobilizing, and @HarrisCoPC remains onsite doing precautionary monitoring,” it added.

“According to plant officials, phosgene gas, a colorless gas with a suffocating odor like musty hay has leaked. Exposure to phosgene may cause irritation to the eyes, dry burning throat, vomiting, cough, foamy sputum, breathing difficulty, chest pain, and, when in liquid form, frostbite. Workers may be harmed from exposure to phosgene, which is used in the manufacture of chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals,” Rawsalerts noted.

Click 2 Houston reports:

According to officials, a process upset at the ALTIVIA Chemical Complex on 16th Street and Fairmont Parkway prompted the release of the chemical phosgene, a colorless gas with a suffocating odor similar to musty hay. The company worked to contain the release shortly after.

According to Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Office, all of the patients who were transported were in stable condition at the time they were leaving the facility but were sent to the hospital as a precaution. Officials have not provided an update on their current conditions at this time.

An alert from the city urged residents south of Fairmont between Bay Area and S. 16th Street to immediately shelter in place after the incident. Officials asked those in the area to proceed to the nearest building to seek shelter, close all doors and windows, and turn off cooling or heating systems. The order was lifted at 1:16 p.m.

The City of La Porte Fire Department confirmed with Harris County Pollution Control there are no detectable amounts of immediately hazardous products near the facility. Harris County Pollution Control will remain onsite for precautionary monitoring.

The La Porte Office of Emergency Management provided this update:

The City of La Porte Fire Department has confirmed with Harris County Pollution Control there are no detectable amounts of immediately hazardous products near or downwind of the Altivia facility. The cautionary shelter-in-place has been lifted and the all clear has been sounded for the chemical emergency. Normal activities may be resumed across the community.

The City of La Porte had received a report of an active leak of phosgene from the Altivia facility at 16th St. and Fairmont Parkway in La Porte this morning and issued a cautionary shelter-in-place for the parts of the city south of 16th Street and Fairmont Parkway. Altivia engaged in efforts to contain the release.

There was no impact to any LPISD schools as they were not in the shelter area.

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