2 Fatal Chemical Plant Explosions in 2 Days in Louisiana

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Chemical plant explosion in Geismar, Louisiana (photo: WWL-TV)

A crowded industrial corridor along the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, experienced two chemical plant explosions back-to-back last week.


The first explosion occurred on June 13 at a chemical plant in Geismar owned by Williams Cos. Inc. that resulted in two deaths and dozens of injuries. It is not yet known what caused the accident. The plant produces ethylene and propylene.


The very next day an explosion at a chemical plant just a few miles away in Donaldsonville, killed one worker and injured eight others.


CF Industries, owner of the second plant, said the explosion, which took place during the offloading of nitrogen from a tank truck, did not cause a fire or release hazardous chemicals into the air.


Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are planning to inspect the CF Industries facility.


The accidents took place in an area of Louisiana, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge that hosts 311 chemical manufacturers, in addition to numerous oil refineries and plastics manufacturers.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Donaldsonville Explosion: With Southern Industrial Boom Come Dangers (by Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor)

Police: OSHA to Join La. Blast Investigation (Associated Press)

Chemical Safety Board Accuses ATF of Interfering with Probe of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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