5 people injured at Atalco alumina facility

BATON ROUGE, La. — Five people were injured at an Atalco alumina facility in Louisiana on Sunday, authorities said.

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The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said the incident happened around 3:43 p.m. CST at the plant in Gramercy, WAFB-TV reported.

Plant workers were changing a valve that was under pressure when they were burned by a high pH caustic solution, according to the television station. It was unclear how much of the solution was released, authorities said.

Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the Gramercy plant employs approximately 550 people, The Advocate reported. According to the facility’s website, the plant processes bauxite into alumina, WAFB reported.

The facility is owned by the Atlantic Alumina Company.

Five people were transported to an area with burns, and one patient had to be taken to the burn center at Baton Rouge General Hospital in Baton Rouge, hospital spokesperson Meghan Parrish told WAFB.

The incident remains under investigation by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, according to the television station.

Additional details were not available, according to The Advocate.