Chemical plant explosion in St. Gabriel Parish

Courtesy Red Stick Storm Spotters
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 9:30am

A “shelter in place” is in effect surrounding the Williams Olefins plant after an explosion. Residents are being asked to stay inside their homes with doors and windows closed.

We're told the explosion happened at the plant located on Highway 3115 in St. Gabriel Parish. Multiple law enforcement and rescue agencies are on the scene now and we've been told witnesses on the scene heard a second blast.

At this point, there's no word on injuries or the amount of damage there.

LA 74, 73 and 75 were closed due to the emergency. LA 30 at 3115 was closed as well.

According to the company's website, the facility annually produces approximately 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene. Ethylene is extremely flammable and is easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames. It can form explosive mixtures in the air.

According to emergency information records, a one mile evacuation is recommended in all directions if the substance is caught on fire. Polymer grade propylene is also flammable.

We will continue to track this story, and bring you new developments as we are able to uncover them.

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