1 dead, dozens hurt in chemical plant explosion - KLFY News 10

1 dead, dozens hurt in chemical plant explosion

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A chemical plant is on fire after an explosion, in Geismar, La., June 13, 2013. A chemical plant is on fire after an explosion, in Geismar, La., June 13, 2013.

GEISMAR, La. An explosion touched off a fire at a petrochemical plant about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, resulting in over 73 injuries and one death, CBS affiliate WAFB-TV reports.

Early tests did not indicate dangerous levels of any chemicals around the plant in Geismar, but area residents were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed, said Jean Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

She said helicopters took three or four people Thursday from the plant owned by The Williams Companies Inc.

Eight victims were taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and more were expected, a hospital representative told reporters.

Workers scrambled over gates and ran from the plant when they heard the explosion, which shook the ground and was followed by a "ball of fire," Daniel Cuthbertson, a fuel truck operator with CBI construction based in Taft, Calif., said later at a police roadblock.

The company said in a news release on its website that the flow of chemicals to the fire had been cut off. WAFB-TV reports the fire has since been contained.

Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain said the explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

GEISMAR, La. An explosion touched off a fire at a petrochemical plant about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, resulting in over 73 injuries and one death, CBS affiliate WAFB-TV reports.

Early tests did not indicate dangerous levels of any chemicals around the plant in Geismar, but area residents were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed, said Jean Kelly, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

She said helicopters took three or four people Thursday from the plant owned by The Williams Companies Inc.

Eight victims were taken to Baton Rouge General Medical Center and more were expected, a hospital representative told reporters.

Workers scrambled over gates and ran from the plant when they heard the explosion, which shook the ground and was followed by a "ball of fire," Daniel Cuthbertson, a fuel truck operator with CBI construction based in Taft, Calif., said later at a police roadblock.

The company said in a news release on its website that the flow of chemicals to the fire had been cut off. WAFB-TV reports the fire has since been contained.

Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain said the explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

State police are asked residents in St. Gabriel area to shelter in place from Highway 3115 to Highway 74 as a precaution.

The company's website says the plant puts out about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene a year.

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