After 24 hours of investigation and reports, FOX News reports that there are 77 injuries and one fatality resulting from an explosion at a chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana. Witnesses say that they saw the chemical plant go up in flames and watched workers clamber over the fences at the workplace to escape the heat and smoke. The police say that one body was found in the debris after the accident, and it has been identified as the corpse of a 29-year-old employee at the plant.
Louisiana's health department has announced that 77 people needed medical attention after the accident, and 51 of those victims have already been released to recover at home. Most workers suffered burns, respiratory issues because of the smoke, bruises, or cardiac complications. A handful of the victims have critical injuries and some are in serious condition. When the explosion occurred, locals were confined to their houses to protect them from any chemical exposure. A football team at a local high school was also placed in the school and their practice was discontinued for the day. Witnesses say that the flames rose 100 to 200 feet in the air at the time of the blast, and it shook the earth.
Williams Companies Inc. owns the plant, and says that the blast occurred at 8:37 a.m. on Thursday. More than 300 people are employed at the plant, and most of them were accounted for immediately after the accident occurred. The plant is at an industrial area in Geismar, and there are many other plants in the same area along the Mississippi River. Investigators say that they still do not know the specific cause of the accident but are researching the site of the explosion for answers.
Terrorism is not suspected. Workers quickly took action after the explosion, enacting shut off valves and evacuating the area to reduce chemical exposure. Ten workers at the plant remained in an explosive-proof control center at the plant to make sure that all valves were shut off. This particular plant creates ethylene and propylene, which are both highly flammable gases that are building blocks of the petrochemical industry. Tests show that the air around the plant is safe to breathe, and that there was not any toxic exposure in connection with the blast.
Chemical plant explosions are somewhat common in America, but that does not negate the severity of the impact. Some plant explosions have leveled cities, and many result in fatalities or serious worker injuries. If you are a chemical plant employee and have been injured in an explosion or fire at the workplace, then you need to seek compensation from the party responsible. Hire a personal injury attorney at Arnold & Itkin LLP for more information!