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Institute

PARTIAL LIST OF INSTITUTE PLANT ACCIDENTS

Aug. 11, 1985: At least 135 people sought treatment at area hospitals after a leak of aldicarb oxime and four other chemicals from the plant, then owned by Union Carbide. An initial fine of $32,000 was dropped to $4,400 when the company agreed to buy an accident simulator for worker training exercises.

May 20, 1993: More than 1,000 residents of Institute and West Dunbar shelter in their homes because of a chlorine gas leak from the Institute plant's barge loading dock.

June 19, 1994: A high-tech monitoring system somehow allows a large leak of untreated wastewater from the plant to be discharged into the Kanawha River.

Aug. 18, 1994: Thousands of Kanawha Valley residents take shelter in their homes after an explosion rips through the Rhone-Poulenc facility. One worker is killed in the blast, and a second dies 10 years later from the effects of cyanide that burned his lungs. OSHA fines the company $1.7 million, but later settles the case for $700,000.

Dec. 13, 1994: A faulty chemical pump causes a leak of sulfur dichloride from the Institute plant. One worker is injured and others are forced to shelter in place.

Feb. 15, 1996: A leak and fire involving the chemical toluene prompts another widespread shelter-in-place advisory across the western part of the valley. Rhone-Poulenc pays $450,000 in fines to OSHA.

July 28, 1997: High winds and heavy rains shut down a chemical disposal system and blow out an incinerator flame, prompting the release of a tiny amount of methyl isocyanate from the Institute plant.

Oct. 15, 1999: A shelter-in-place advisory was issued for residents within two miles of the plant after a leak of the deadly gas phosgene.

Aug. 13, 2001: Ten workers received medical treatment after a chloroform leak at the Aventis portion of the Institute plant.

source: The Charleston Gazette