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The Axiall Corp. chemicals complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana is functioning at decreased rates following a fire that occurred in the vinyl chloride manufacturing area of the plant last week.

18 people were taken to the hospital for medical treatment following the fire.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, and the company is working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and outside engineering firms to assess damage to the structure and the extent of the impact the fire will have on production.

According to Axiall, the remainder of the Lake Charles plant was unaffected by the fire, and other production levels were not impacted.

PPG, the pre-merger owners of the Lake Charles complex reported a fire in the vinyl chloride monomer unit of the plant on December 24, 2012.

The 2012 fire caused major disruption and lead to to a subsequent force majeure for vinyl chloride and other liquids produced at the complex.

Axiall was formed by a merger of Georgia Gulf Corp. and the commodity chemicals business of PPG Industries in January of 2013.

Axiall holds three manufacturing plants in Louisiana, two in the Lake Charles area, and another in Plaquemine.