Part of an industrail complex and a nearby road were closed of following a chemical spill in Shreveport in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, on Thursday 2 June 2017. The incident happened at the Calumet Shreveport Refinery, where a presurised tank containing isomerate developed a pinhole sized flaw, resulting in a mist of the highly flamable liquid spraying over a wide area.
Hasmat vehilce attending the Calumet Refinery in Shreveport, Louisiana, following a chemical leak on 2 June 2017. Bubba Kneipp/KLSA News 12.
Isomerate, or Naptha, is a petroleum fraction comprising molecules with 4-10 carbon atoms, typically obtained by the fractional distilation of crude oil (heating crude oil slowly so that lighter molecules will evaporate before heavier ones, allowing for their separation), which forms a major componant of gasolene. It can cause irretation to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, and at high concentrations can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, leading to unconciousness and even death. However the main threat presented by isomerate is that it is highly flamable (hence its value as a fuel), and like other flamable liquids, potentially explosive in mist form.
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