PROCTOR, W.Va. — West Virginians are suing one of the nation’s largest chlorine producers after a cloud of chlorine gas leaked from a railcar inside a company chemical plant near their homes.

Attorney Jim Bordas says Saturday’s chlorine leak at the Axiall Corp. plant forced residents from their homes and damaged their properties. The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that about 17,000 gallons of chlorine leaked out.

“This is a very serious matter,” Bordas said. “Property has been destroyed, people are worried and afraid. They are afraid of the possible health consequences that may result from this leak.”

Bordas is accusing the company of general negligence, trespass, private nuisance and public nuisance, and seeking class action status so that others who suffered can join the suit.

Officials with Westlake Chemical Corp., which completed a $3.8 billion acquisition of Axiall on Wednesday, didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Intelligencer (

The newspaper reports that Bordas filed in Marshall County Circuit Court on Aug. 27 on behalf of Tim Bohrer, Rhonda Bohrer, Roy Yoho and Darlene Yoho.

Information from: The Intelligencer,