Skip to Main Content

Chemours Chemical Plant Explosion Injures 4 in West Virginia


Four people were hurt last night when an explosion erupted at a chemical plant just outside Charleston, West Virginia.

Chemours Plant Explosion Involved Optima Chemical Group

The blast occurred shortly after 10:00 p.m. at the Chemours Company facility in the Kanawha County community of Belle. However, it appears the incident actually involved the Optima Chemical Group, a tenant operating at the site.

“It was the loudest explosion I’ve ever felt — not just heard, felt,” one nearby resident told the Charleston Mail-Gazette. “It jolted my body. It felt like it was next door, then we saw the smoke plume across the river. I’ve never experienced anything like this, to this magnitude.”

Emergency officials announced a shelter-in-place order for 2 miles around the plant, and a nearby road was closed while firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control. The order impacted everyone from the Chelyan bridge to Burning Springs and included all of Belle, Marmet, Chesapeake, and Chelyan.

Injured Included 2 Inside Chemours Facility, Driver Struck by Debris

“We’re cognizant of the fact that we’ve got a great impact on safety with the traffic. We’re cognizant that it’s cold outside, and shelter-in-place means you shouldn’t run your heater, but … our joint concern is to make sure there’s no further incident,” said Kanawha Commission President Kent Carper “The last thing you want is to let people go back and have another incident. We need to make certain that the public is safe before we lift.”

Three people were taken to Charleston Area Medical Center, and a fourth person drove themselves to Montgomery General. The injured included two inside the Chemours facility and a driver hurt when debris hit their vehicle. Authorities have not released any other information about the victims or the extent of their injuries.

Fire crews were finally able to extinguish the flames just before midnight. The shelter-in-place order was lifted at 2:25 a.m.

Authorities Suspect Methanol Triggered Chemours Explosion

While not clear what caused the Chemours plant explosion, authorities have confirmed the incident involved chlorinated dry bleach and methanol. They also suspect that methanol triggered the blast and acted as an accelerant for the flames.

The Delaware-based Chemours Company was founded in 2015 as a spinoff from DuPont. Ownership of the 723-acre chemical facility along West Dupont Avenue in Belle was also transferred to Chemours that year. In addition to Optima, other tenants at the site include Kureha and Sentinel Transportation.

According to the company’s website, Chemours specializes “in industries ranging from automotive, paints, and plastics to electronics, construction, energy, and telecommunications.” The Belle plant processes several different types of chemicals, but it’s not clear exactly what Optima produces.

Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers with Billions Won for Our Clients: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult.

Our Undefeated Plant Explosion Lawyers are monitoring developments surrounding the December 8th Chemours plant explosion in West Virginia and will post an update if new information becomes available.

In addition to being undefeated, our Experienced Explosion Attorneys have won billions — including Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements  — for explosion victims across the United States following the worst industrial disasters in recent history.

If you were impacted by the Optima Chemical explosion at the Chemours plant in Belle, West Virginia, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

During your consultation, our attorneys will answer your questions, explain your rights, and provide all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself and your family.

To learn more about our success representing explosion victims and their families, please visit our “Results” page or Click Here to see what our clients have said about their experience with our firm.

Your consultation is completely free, and because we work on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us a penny unless we win your case.