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Gas Leak At Mississippi Phosphates Plant Injures Two

Gases were released on site at a Pascagoula, Miss. sulfuric acid plant when a weld near the top of a converter vessel suddenly ruptured.

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Gases were released on site at a sulfuric acid plant Wednesday when a weld near the top of a converter vessel suddenly ruptured, Mississippi Phosphates Corporation said.

Two employees received burns as a result of the accident and both were released after receiving treatment at local facilities, the company said.

The plant is one of two sulfuric acid facilities operated by Mississippi Phosphates at its diammonium phosphate, or DAP, fertilizer facility in Pascagoula.

The company said it continues to conduct air monitoring and had found no detectable concentration of gas or odor outside its facility.

''On-site gas levels fall below threshold levels of concern,'' the company said in a statement. ''All appropriate governmental authorities and agencies have been notified and the group continues to closely monitor what appears to be an improving situation.''

The cause of the apparent weld failure and the extent of damage to the plant are being investigated, the company said.

Representatives of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality were sent to the plant.

In January, the company had said that one of its 1,500 ton-per-day sulfuric acid plants would be down for several weeks while additional repairs were made to a boiler. It said the boiler had suffered a major failure in July of last year and that initial repairs had been after repairs. At the time Mississippi Phosphates blamed the problem on the contractor that had done the work.

The company produces DAP at its production facility in Pascagoula. The company distributes its fertilizer to both domestic and international markets.
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