An explosion and fire at chemical plant in Louisiana has sent multiple burn victims to the hospital and forced local residents to hide in their homes. The Williams Olefins plant is located in Geismar, Louisiana, just south of Baton Rouge, and produces ethylene and propylene gasses. The plant is near the Mississippi River, in an area known for its many refineries.
Thick black smoke from the fire has prompted hazmat teams to descend on the scene, and the local emergency have asked residents within two miles of the plant to shelter in place until it can be brought under control. However, a livestream of the plant from WAFB-TV seems to show the plant is no longer burning and state police say the blaze has been contained to the plant area.
The fire broke out around 8:40 a.m. local time this morning. According to WAFB and the AP 33 people were taken to local hospitals with some in critical condition. Police are still looking to confirm the location and condition of all the plant workers.
Update (2:06 p.m.): State police have confirmed that one person died as a result of the explosion.