UPDATE: At Least 30 Injured in Explosion and Fire at a Louisiana Chemical Plant

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
La. state police: Blast, fire at chemical plant

Photo via WAFB

UPDATE: 12:50

Officials say ambulances and helicopters have taken at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion in Louisiana.
Residents of the community of Geismar about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed.

Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly says helicopters took three or four people Thursday from the plant owned by The Williams Companies Inc., and ground ambulances took 30. She did not have other details about injuries.

Kelly says tests have not found dangerous levels of chemicals in the air so far.

Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain says the explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the plant. It makes ethylene and propylene -- highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

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GEISMAR, La. (AP) -- Louisiana State Police say a reported explosion has started a fire at a chemical plant.

Capt. Doug Cain says the fire broke out Thursday morning at The Williams Companies Inc. plant in the town of Geismar. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

The town is about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. Residents in the surrounding area have been asked by state police to stay indoors and close all windows and doors.

Cain says he doesn't know how many people were hurt, but sees ambulances taking a couple of people from the plant.

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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