Donaldsonville Plant Explosion Update - KLFY News 10

Donaldsonville Plant Explosion Update

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Ronald Morris Ronald Morris

An explosion at a Donaldsonville plant on Friday evening sent seven workers to area hospitals and left one man dead. 

Three of the workers were in critical condition and two were in stable condition as of Friday evening. 

"There was a work crew at the plant here at CF Industries. They were taking nitrogen off a truck and pumping it into a vessel. For some unknown reason this vessel failed and actually ruptured," says State Trooper Jared Sandifer.  

Killed in the blast was 55-year-old Ronald Morris of Belle Rose, he is the third plant worker in Ascension Parish to die in a chemical explosion this week, following the two men that were killed in the Geismar plant explosion on Thursday morning.  

"There is no significance. They're actually two different types of industrial accidents, unfortunately it was in the same parish and within two days of each other," says Sandifer.

 Similar to the Geismar plant the Donaldsonville plant had violations in the past. The Donaldsonville plant has OSHA penalties amounting to nearly $150,000 after an explosion and fire that killed three of their workers back in 2000. Sandifer says there was no fire following the nitrogen explosion from Friday evening.   

"There was no fire. Nitrogen is an inert gas and it's not flammable, therefore it was released once it ruptured," says Sandifer.

Trooper Sandifer says the State Police hazmat team spent Friday evening making sure the plant was safe. He says after deeming the plant safe it's up to the plant and OSHA to figure out how the explosion happened.

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