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Chemical Safety Board to Assess Formosa Plastics Blast

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is sending a five-person assessment team to the site of an explosion and fire at the Formosa Plastics plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

A company spokesperson said the Oct. 13 explosion injured13 workers on site nine Formosa employees and four contractors. Eleven of the injured were treated at a local hospital and by the following day one worker remained in serious but stable condition at the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston, Texas.

A report from the Formosa Plastics Group in Taiwan, an associated company, said the explosion was caused by maintenance workers as they prepared to carry out annual maintenance work on one of the facility's ethylene units.

The CSB team will assess the severity of the incident so that the safety board can determine whether to launch a formal investigation. CSB is currently investigating an April 23, 2004, incident at Formosa's Illiopolis, Ill., site that killed five workers and seriously injured two.

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