One injured in toxic gas leak at Total refinery in France

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 11, 2013 6:41 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - A leak of toxic gas from a Total oil refinery in northwestern France in the early hours of Thursday caused the plant to be briefly evacuated, disrupted local train services and injured one worker, Total said.

The company said a leak in the alkylation unit, which produces high-octane gasoline ingredients, had been repaired and the refinery, in the town of Donges, was operating normally again a few hours after the incident.

"There is no risk for the local population or environment," Total said in a statement.

A spokeswoman added the leak had not affected production at the 230,000 barrel per day refinery.

Local media said the worker had suffered chemical burns from butane and hydrofluoric acid, but Total said the person's condition was stable following hospital tests.

Total's 2012 annual report showed that if the number of recorded incidents per million hours worked fell in the last three years, the incident severity rate rose last year, while still within the range seen over the last six years.

(Reporting by Catherine Bremer; additional reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Keiron Henderson)