A massive fireball rose over rural Louisiana on Tuesday morning, waking residents and sending emergency crews scrambling to find the cause. The explosion happened right around dawn, near the town of Enon, in the Southeast corner of the state, about a hour north of New Orleans. Authorities initially told local station WDSU that it could be a gas line rupture, but they couldn't get close enough to the scene yet to evaluate Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal now confirms to WWL it was a gas line explosion, and the company that operates has shut of the pipe and the fire is contained. There are no reports of any injuries at this time.
WWL-TV has been sent a number of eyewitness photos and at least one video of the immediate aftermath of the blast.
There are more images on social media as well.
BREAKING: possible explosion In Washington Parish. Eyewitnesses heard blast & report bright orange light in sky & funny smell, power outages— Melanie Hebert (@MelanieHebert) June 18, 2013
The blast reportedly happened near the intersection of Highway 60 and Highway 1072, which is marked on the map below.
Just last week, a chemical plant in Geismar, Louisana, exploded killing two people, and the following day, another explosion killed a worker at CF Industries just down the Mississippi River. They whole area is known for heavy oil and gas production, and a larger number of refineries and industrial plants.