UPDATE: Shelter in place lifted after BioLab chlorine release

Published 2:12 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A shelter in place has been lifted after a BioLab chemical release Wednesday afternoon in Westlake.

Louisiana State Police confirmed a chemical cloud hovering over the West Calcasieu area was linked to a chlorine release from BioLab.

A shelter-in-place was ultimately issued in a one-mile radius from the Interstate 10 Westlake exit late Wednesday morning, and for nearly four hours all traffic was diverted to Interstate 210. Lake Charles Police said multiple agencies were involved in deterring traffic.

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Megan Monsour Hartman, Gulf Coast field communications director for Phillips 66, said an evacuation order was issued for contractors and non-essential personnel at their plant following the chemical release.

“We have had several reports of eye and nose irritation accompanied with a chlorine smell,” Hartman said. “We are in contact with area industries and emergency responders.”