DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It's been nearly four years since a chemical plant explosion in Institute rocked the community and alarmed health experts across the country.
A panel of researchers studied the incident at Bayer CropScience and released their findings to the community Saturday at West Virginia State University in Dunbar.
They offered recommendations for safer manufacture of a dangerous chemical called methyl isocyanate (MIC) at the plant.
"There are a set of protocols that allow one to be able to do chemical manufacturing in a safer environment," research chair Elsa Reichmanis said.
Their suggestions included changes in technology and equipment design, hoping to minimize the risk of error in the process.
Community members attending said they appreciated the work but were more interested in hearing about the reason behind all of the research.
"I don't think they emphasized the effect on people," attendee Greggsuzanne McAllister said. "I think everything should be couched in terms of the human factor."
Donna Willis agreed.
"Not only was I in danger but now my children are in danger," she said. "And if they stay here, their children will be in danger too."
WIllis hopes government officials will take the results of the study seriously - for the sake of the community.
"My concern is that it won't go anywhere," Willis said. "It'll just be a piece of paper that is funneled through the system."
Researchers like Reichmanis know that change won't happen overnight, but they're still optimistic about the future.
"There is a much better understanding between the industries and the community at this point," Willis said. "They do work together."
Community members said they were disappointed that no representatives from Bayer CropScience attended the report.
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