With the chemical spill at Magnablend cleaned up, company officials are now looking into the reason why the spill occurred, a spokesperson said.
“We have launched a full incident investigation. We don’t have a root cause yet. It often takes time,”said Alison Jahn, Magnablend's director of communications. “ I believe that (employees) are going through a few more safety drills to make sure that everything is ready to go. The cleanup process is complete.”
About 70 Magnablend employees and Waxahachie residents were evacuated after a release of liquid sodium chlorite on Monday. First responders established an evacuation area of 150 feet from the spill and later expanded the area to half a mile north and northeast of the area when emergency crews were notified of additional totes. Only one tote had ruptured. The evacuation of residents, businesses and Magnablend employees was lifted at 6:44 p.m.
“The investigation is just starting. What we know is that a tote, which is a plastic container, that contained liquid sodium chlorite, which is a form of salt, it was showing signs after it was offloaded from a truck,”Jahn said. "What happened is the signs of reaction caused a rupture and caused a boom, which is what you may have heard some people taking about — a boom or explosion. It wasn’t an explosion because nothing leaked. It was a rupture from a cracked tote. The other thing that I can tell you is that no one was exposed. There are no signs of exposure. No one has sent us any complaints of any type of exposure.”
Along with first responders members of the Texas members of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency were also called out to the scene.
The TCEQ confirmed Tuesday that a plastic 330-gallon tote containing liquid sodium chlorite was involved. There are a total of 14 totes on-site (one that ruptured, one that is partially damaged) was evaluated by TAS Environmental. TAS Environmental was the HazMat company contracted by Magnablend to handle the spill cleanup.
When checking the other totes HazMat crews took a thermal imaging camera and checked the other totes for temperatures to see if there were any fluctuations and everything turned out to be in the range that it should be, Randy Muirhead, Waxahachie Fire Department Battalion Chief, said.
“Magnablend’s contractor completed their air quality motoring in the evening and the chlorine reading were non-detect throughout the residential area. They are non-detect throughout the residential area. So we don’t have any concerns about the residents. That is why the evacuation was lifted,” TCEQ Spokesperson Andrea Morrow said. “The local folks made that determination, the incident commanders. If their was concern to the residents they would not have lifted the evacuation.”