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DuPont criticised over chemical leaks

DuPont facility
Image caption DuPont said it was continuing to cooperate with authorities

A number of safety failings by chemical maker DuPont resulted in the death of a worker at one of its US plants, a federal authority has ruled.

Carl Fish, 58, died at the company's Belle facility in West Virginia, in January 2010, when he was accidentally sprayed with the deadly chemical phosgene.

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said DuPont had used old chemical tubes and relied too much on automated software.

DuPont said safety is its core aim.

Mr Fish was sprayed with phosgene when a cable leading from a storage tank frayed.

The accident happened a day after two other chemicals were accidentally leaked at the same Dupont facility - methyl chloride and oleum, a type of sulphuric acid.

There were no reported injuries in those two cases.

Rafael Moure-Eraso, CSB chairman, said: "We at the Chemical Safety Board were quite surprised and alarmed to learn that DuPont had not one, but three preventable accidents that occurred over a 33-hour period."

Dupont said it had completed its own investigation and was continuing to cooperate with the CSB.

Phosgene is used to make herbicide.

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