6 employees at power plant taken to the hospital, 2 in critical condition following chemical exposure, officials say

Dozens of employees were evaluated by medical professionals following a chemical leak that left two people in critical condition on Thursday.

THOMPSON, Texas – Medical professionals evaluated several employees following exposure to a chemical at a plant that left two people in critical condition on Thursday, officials said.

According to officials with Fort Bend County, it happened at the W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station in the 2500 block of Yu Jones Road.

Preliminary details stated employees reported an unusual smell and that they were exposed to an unknown chemical, initially believed to be ammonia, however, police are still working to confirm that information.

About 100 workers were evaluated by medical personnel on site, NRG said in a statement. Officials said six people had to be decontaminated and were taken to the hospital, two in critical condition.

An additional 50 employees were said to be OK, however, some reported experiencing difficulty breathing, scratchy throats, and dizziness, officials said.

According to EMS, a biodegradable degreaser was being overused, meaning too many people were using it at once.

NRG released the following statement Thursday:

“At about 5:30 this evening, safety personnel at the WA Parish power plant were notified that contract workers in a non-operational area of the plant had reported an unusual smell. The area was immediately evacuated and emergency responders were called. Some of the workers reported difficulty breathing and six workers were transported to local hospitals for observation. About 100 workers were evaluated by medical personnel on site. NRG is investigating what may have caused the incident. Work in the area will not resume until we are able to determine the cause of the incident There has been no release of any hazardous material and no danger to area residents or the public.”

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About the Author:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.