Cow Island Gas Plant Explosion UPDATE - KLFY News 10

April 21, 2006

Cow Island Gas Plant Explosion UPDATE

An early morning fire at a natural gas plant gave some residents in Cow Island an early wake-up call.

Everyone in a one-mile radius of the Truckline gas plant was evacuated.

The plant is located off Highway 35, near a number of residential areas.

The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office was alerted of the situation shortly after 5:00am.

Authorities say the compression station was on fire, but was put out before 7:00am after plant employees shut off the main line.

But, by the time the fire was out, some people were far from home.

Kiesha Gaspard's morning started out like any other at work, but that quickly changed.

Gaspard says she opened the doors and came in at 5:00 and a guy walked in and said there was a fire, so everyone looked and heard the noise, so someone called 911.

The Truckline plant was in flames across the street from the convenience store she where she worked.  Vermilion Parish authorities arrived on scene and began evacuating the area.

Amber Hollier says she was told she needed to gather up her stuff and go, this could be serious, they didn't know what could happen.

Amber Hollier was watching her little cousin when she was woken up by the early morning phone call telling her to get out to safety.

Hollier says it was scary because she didn't know what to do with him, but she called her mom and her mom said she could go over there.

Hollier was lucky.  She had a place to go.  Those who didn't were sent to Kaplan High School for shelter.  The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office said a total of about 50 to 60 people were evacuated.

By 8:30am, residents were allowed back to their homes, but only after air samples were taken throughout the area by both the Louisiana State Police Haz-Mat and the Louisiana Environmental Quality Agency and tested clear of toxins.  Authorities said they'd rather be safe than sorry.



Sara Vincent, TV 10 Eyewitness News

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