by Stephanie Anthony
Residents near the ExxonMobil Refinery on Scenic Highway in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana had to shelter in place for more than three hours Monday because
of a chemical leak. Tank number 766 leaked naphtha a gasoline additive laced with benzene.
Warning alarms were the first sign
of trouble for most people in the neighborhoods surrounding the plant. Later,
area televisions briefly interrupted the pending Michael Jackson verdict to warn
citizens to stay indoors, turn off air conditioning and stay off the phone because of the leak in process.
As citizens sheltered in place, foam was sprayed on top of the leaking tank to stop vapors from escaping.
According to ExxonMobil spokeswoman Stephanie Cargile liquids which leaked from the tank were routed into the facilities
Details of what caused the leak are still
unavailable however Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality estimated that approximately 42,000 gallons of materials
may have leaked from the tank.