UPDATE: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has told Reuters that all workers are now accounted for in the Williams-Olefins chemical plant explosion in Geismar. There are 73 injured and one dead.
A Louisiana chemical plant explosion in Geismar has resulted in at least one fatality, according to a report from the Louisiana State Police.
An earlier report from the scene of the Thursday morning explosion at the Williams Olefins plant said that there were 600 workers present at the time of the accident, resulting in at least 60 injuries.
The explosion was reported to the Louisiana State Police around 8:30 AM, resulting in most of the injured being rescued by ambulance. Three or four people had to be airlifted by medical helicopter.
Multiple roads into the industrial area off of Louisiana State Highway 30 were blocked off by state police as they secured the scene, which is being described as a “haz-mat incident.”
There may be a second fatality. State Sen. Troy Brown, D-Napoleonville, told The Times-Picayune that police officials had told him that two workers had died.
Sen. Brown lives less than five miles from the plant. He added: “I actually heard the explosion and I actually felt the explosion.”
At last report, the fire was still smoking. It isn’t yet known what caused the explosion at the plant which produces 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene each year. Although the loss of life is likely to be less horrific than the recent industrial explosion in West, Texas, the full extent of the disaster isn’t yet clear. But it’s believed that the fire won’t go beyond the Williams Olefins property line.
Here is a video of the explosion and the rush to secure workers’ safety provided by local news station WWL:
If anyone has photographs or information that they would like to share, please let me know.
— Quincy Hodges (@QuincyHodges) June 13, 2013
One person dead and 73 injured in Louisiana chemical plant blast; all workers have been accounted for: Governor Jindal #breaking
— Reuters US News (@ReutersUS) June 13, 2013
We’ll be bringing you more updates on the Louisiana chemical plant explosion in Geismar as we get more information.
[fire top photo by Marcus Obal via Wikimedia Commons]