Chemical hearth in Louisiana: Shelter-in-place ordered for residents in Plaquemine following six explosions at plant

Saturday, July 15, 2023 9:19PM

6 explosions reported at Dow Chemical plant in LA, officials say

PLAQUEMINE, Louisiana — A fireplace at a Louisiana chemical plant triggered explosions that shook properties a number of miles away and despatched flames and smoke billowing into the air, prompting emergency officers to induce a number of hundred close by residents to shelter indoors for a number of hours and to show off their air conditioners.

Flames erupted late Friday at Dow Chemical’s plant on the Mississippi River close to Plaquemine, south of Baton Rouge. Iberville Parish officers advised The Occasions-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that the fireplace began in an space of the plant that handles ethylene oxide, a flammable and poisonous chemical.

The parish’s sheriff, Bret Stassi, stated nobody was injured, and the corporate had accounted for all its staff.

Residents of roughly 350 households inside a half-mile (0.80 kilometers) of the plant have been advised to shelter inside for a number of hours in a single day. As Dow Chemical and environmental officers monitored the air for hazardous supplies, emergency officers urged sheltering residents to close off their air conditioners and ceiling followers.

The Iberville Parish Council stated in a press release early Saturday that no hazards had been detected and that individuals might go away their properties.

“Crews have considerably diminished the fireplace and are working to totally extinguish it,” Dow Chemical stated in a press release Saturday. The corporate stated it continued monitoring air high quality together with state environmental officers and a third-party contractor.

Even brief publicity to ethylene oxide could cause lung accidents, vomiting, and diarrhea, in line with the U.S. Occupational Well being and Security Administration, which says the chemical has additionally been linked to most cancers in individuals with long-term publicity.

The sheriff advised WBRZ-TV that six explosions have been detected on the plant round 9:30 p.m. Friday. Tall flames could possibly be seen rising from the positioning, with thick smoke overhead.

Residents felt their properties shake in Baton Rouge, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) away, WAFB-TV reported.

Kenneth Haydel stated he was with relations close to the plant once they heard a number of loud explosions a number of seconds aside.

“We seemed up within the sky, and the entire sky was lit up orange,” Haydel stated.

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