Chemicals Plant in Lake Charles on Fire Due to Hurricane Laura

Nature

A chemicals plant located in Lake Charles in Louisiana is on fire due to the ravages of Hurricane Laura.

The fire occurred this morning. It is considered to be the worst damage currently caused by Hurricane Laura since it started to pass through the region last Thursday, August 27, making landfall last night with a classification of a storm category 4 with winds measuring 150 miles per hour (mph or 240 kilometers per hour (kph).

Chemicals Plant in Lake Charles on Fire Due to Hurricane Laura

(Photo: Reuters Connect )
Plumes of smoke rise into the sky from a chemical plant fire in a damaged area after Hurricane Laura passed through Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S. August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

READ: Hurricane Laura Update: Landfall Expected 2:00-5:00 a.m. EST Near Border of Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast 

The chemicals plant in question has been confirmed by its company representatives as belonging to BioLab. BioLab in turn is a subsidiary of the private company KIKCorp. The BioLab plant in Lake Charles was constructed in 1979, which was acquired in 2013 by KIKCorp, which is a leading pool chemicals supplier. 

The BioLab company has been manufacturing chlorine-based cleaning products. These include chlorine granules, biocides, and toilet bowl tablets.

According to the environmental regulatory legal documents of Louisiana in 2019, the BioLab plant site manufactures 115 million pounds of disodium isocyanurate, trichloroisocyanuric acid, various disinfectants, and biocides each year.

Another plant is operating in the same area where BioLab is situated. According to Louisiana regulatory documents, it is operated by the Lonza Group. It produces a rocket propellant known as dimethyl hydrazine with the US government as its client. 

READ ALSO: Explaining Today’s Hyperactive Hurricane Season: Storm Trends and Implications

The Fire

The eyewitness was able to take videos of the event, which showed thick smoke billowing northward across the Interstate-10. The plant was already known to be a significant emitter of air-polluting chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and other organic volatile compounds before the accident.

Meanwhile, phone calls contacting the Lonza Group offices have not been answered.

Other damages

Hurricane Laura caused other damages in the Lake Charles area, including Capital One Tower. Most of the building’s windows were blown out as if it was “Swiss cheese.”

Exterior damage was also suffered by the Golden Nugget casino. It also apparently unmoored another casino, the riverboat casino called the Isle of Capri, which is now lodged beneath Calcasieu River bridge

Hurricane Laura’s Destructive Rampage

With Hurricane Laura’s passing through Louisiana yesterday, its powerful winds hit the city and have caused a lot of extensive damage, including the burning of the chemical plant and destroying a building’s windows.

Hurricane Laura passed Lake Charles in Louisiana last August 27, 2020. The hurricane slammed into the southern region of the US on Thursday.

The  monster storm category 4 prompted sheriffs’ and local officials’ warnings of “unsurvivable” storm surges. Hundreds of thousands of local and Gulf Coast residents were ordered to be evacuated.

Those who refused to evacuate were advised that rescue teams, police, and other frontline workers will not be able to conduct rescue and search operations until the storm has passed. They will have to try to stay safe on their own.

The NHC or National Hurricane Center said that Laura is “extremely dangerous,” bringing winds with a speed of 150 mph (or 240 kph). It said destructive waves are going to create “catastrophic damage” in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

READ NEXT: Real Estate Website Provides Flood-Risk Score for Every American Home

Check out more news and information on Hurricanes on Nature World News. 

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