One dead, 8 injured in explosion at Louisiana chemical plant

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jun 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-14 22:32:38-04

One person died and eight others were injured in an incident Friday at a chemical plant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, the plant manager said.

The incident occurred at a CF Industries facility in the Mississippi River community of about 7,500 people, located some 40 miles south of Baton Rouge. According to its website, CF Industries is “the second largest nitrogen fertilizer producer in the world and the third largest phosphate fertilizer producer among public companies.”

The Louisiana State Police first learned of the explosion around 7:10 p.m. (8:10 p.m. ET), Lt. John Cannon said.

About 45 minutes after that first call, a fire at the scene had been put out and hazardous material units were en route, he added.

The blast comes a day after two people died and more than 100 others were injured in an explosion at another at Louisiana chemical plant — that one in Geismar, which is in Ascension Parish, like Donaldsonville.

Authorities didn’t know immediately what caused that explosion at the Williams plant, which produces about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer-grade propylene each year, according to the company’s website.

In addition to 29-year-old Zachary Green’s death, dozens were hospitalized for burns, cardiac issues and blunt trauma, Louisiana Department of Health spokeswoman Christina Stephens said.

Both explosions happened two months after 15 died following a fire and twin blasts at a fertilizer plant facility that decimated homes, businesses and more within 37 blocks of West, Texas, a small town 20 miles north of Waco.