15 years after Bogalusa Chemical explosion - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

15 years after Bogalusa Chemical explosion

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A major chemical explosion that happened 15 years ago on the border of Mississippi in Bogalusa, Louisiana forced some 1,500 hundreds residents out of their homes.

More than 4,700 residents were treated at area hospitals after the dangerous chemical nitrogen tetroxide was released into the air.

"There was a huge plume of harmful gas that escaped and stayed in that area," said Attorney Merrida Coxwell who helped with the case in Jackson.

The incident started after a train tanker was leaking the poisonous gas had traveled from the Vicksburg Chemical Company in Vicksburg and then routed through Jackson reaching it's destination in Bogalusa.

"It covered a pretty large area and as it moved and dispersed it covered an even larger area," Coxwell said.

The case was tried in the Hinds Co. Chancery Court as some residents were from Mississippi.

Coxwell says many residents received a settlement in the case, however, some of the children had not.

Hundreds of minors names were listed in the Clarion Ledger to summon them for their settlement.

This is something, he says majority have already signed releases to obtain their payment. 

"About 90 percent or more, either themselves individually or through their parents have signed releases to accept the settlement."

Coxwell says he couldn't provide the exact amount of settlement for confidentiality reasons, he did say it's rather small.

None of the residents in the area suffered life threatening injuries or suffered lasting effects from the explosion.

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