CALCASIEU PARISH, La. (KLFY) – The scene in Westlake after an explosion at Westlake Chemical Wednesday morning appeared to be an exact replay of another incident that happened at the plant just over four months ago.

The explosion at the plant in Calcasieu Parish happened shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday and could be felt and seen for miles. A large plume of black smoke hovered over the plant, forcing a temporary shelter in place for the area.

“It came to a shock to us that there was another explosion in close proximity,” said Kyle Findley, attorney at Arnold & Itkin.

Officials say chemical fumes in a tank ignited in the ethylene dichloride storage area. Six people were injured.

“The immediate thoughts that come to mind are for the workers who would be there, thoughts of what they might be going through, and what appeared to be another safety issue overlooked by a plant, which is the unfortunate reality in a lot of these explosions,” said Findley.

The law firm of Arnold & Itkin has filed a lawsuit against the company over a previous accident. The firm represents 22 workers who claim an explosion at the plant in September 2021, while the plant was undergoing maintenance, was due to the company’s negligence. The suit says the plaintiffs were injured physically and mentally, and they are seeking damages.

“In all of these tragic accidents, there’s a similarity of introducing hydrocarbons in an area where there’s either hot-work going on, or an area safety value that goes unchecked. That’s the unfortunate reality of these explosions. They are catastrophic in nature, and usually, these steps to prevent them are very, very simple, and basic fundamental safety rules that were not followed,” said Findley.

We still don’t know how the explosion happened, or who or what is to blame. We hope Westlake Chemical will soon provide those details to us.

You can download a copy of the September 2021 explosion lawsuit below.