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LSB Industries Closes Plant After Explosion

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 1:59pm
The Associated Press

Shares of LSB Industries Inc. plunged more than 20 percent Tuesday after the maker of chemicals and heating and air conditioning equipment said it will close an Arkansas plant after an explosion there.

The company said the explosion of a reactor at the El Dorado, Ark., chemical factory Tuesday morning caused significant damage to the facility. No one was hurt, and the company said it thought that there was no environmental pollution from the explosion.

Production has been stopped at the facility indefinitely. LSB Industries said it does not know how much damage there had been, how long repairs would take or how much it would cost to fix the plant. The company is investigating the cause of the explosion.

The closed factory made concentrated nitric acid, an industrial chemical. Besides chemicals, the Oklahoma City company makes heat pumps, air handlers and other equipment for controlling temperatures and ventilation.

LSB Industries said its insurance policy has a $1 million deductible for property damage. It also has insurance that may cover profits lost during certain business interruptions.

Shares dropped $5.48, or 17 percent, to $26.89 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $24.85 and $49.21 over the last year.

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