Number of Injured From Axiall Fire Rises to 18

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WESTLAKE, La. (AP) – The number of people taken to the hospital after an explosion and fire at an Axiall Corp. chemical plant near Lake Charles has risen to 18.
    
Christus St. Patrick Hospital spokeswoman Heather Hidalgo-LaFleur tells the American Press that all 18 people were released after treatment for injuries related to hazardous smoke that drifted over Interstate 10. She declines to discuss the nature of the injuries.
    
Atlanta-based Axiall says it's still investigating the cause of the Dec. 20 explosion at the Westlake plant. Callers to the Coast Guard's National Response Center reported the fire released unknown amounts of vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid and EDC dichloroethane. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality tells KPLC-TV that monitors didn't detect any chemicals. The agency says it could release a report as soon as Friday.

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