Invista says maintenance glitch made loud noise

Sonny Long

May 9, 2013 at 12:09 a.m.
Updated May 10, 2013 at 12:10 a.m.

A glitch during routine maintenance caused a loud noise at Invista on Thursday morning, but no fire ignited, and no one was seriously injured, said company spokeswoman Amy Hodges.

The sound occurred about 8:40 a.m.

"The equipment was shut down and de-inventoried for maintenance," said Hodges, explaining that if any material was emitted from the plant, it would have been minimal.

She described the event as an "over pressurization in a heat exchanger."

The Victoria Invista plant produces nylon intermediates that go into products such as Stainmaster carpet, parachutes and bristles for a variety of brushes.

"There was no fire or ignition sources and no release of in-process materials," Hodges said.

"Consistent with our standard safety procedures and out of an abundance of caution, emergency systems were activated, and we have accounted for all employees and contractors," she said. "There were no significant injuries."

The area where the incident occurred was isolated, and other areas of Invista were not impacted and continued to operate normally, she said.

"The safety of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate is our first priority," Hodges said.

She said the company would investigate the cause.

A spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said she was uncertain whether OSHA was investigating the incident.

Thursday was the second time in about a month that events at the plant had attracted the public's attention.

In early April, the plant experienced a power outage that was the result of a failed guy wire that made contact with the facility's main power supply, Hodges said at that time.

The outage affected Invista, DuPont and LyondellBasell.

Hodges said the plant's safety and emergency systems worked as designed to safely shut down all operating units and to mitigate the outage's impact.

No employees were injured as a result of the outage.

Invista is a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., and the Victoria site employs about 600 people.



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