Sulfur trioxide leak at northeast Missouri plant spurs inquiry

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | 8:33 a.m. CDT; updated 10:37 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PALMYRA — Investigators are trying to determine what led to an estimated 200 pounds of the acid rain-producing gas sulfur trioxide leaking at the BASF plant near the northeast Missouri town of Palmyra.

The release happened Tuesday morning. No one was hurt but the plant and neighboring industries were evacuated and a 7-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed.

The plant makes chemicals for the agricultural industry.

Plant manager Michael McFarlane told the Hannibal Courier-Post that the leak was likely from a mechanical failure.

State investigators planned to test for environmental damage and look at whether regulatory action was needed.


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