A series of explosions caused by a fire at a Dow Chemical factory near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, prompted residents to seek shelter in place before it was lifted later that day.
The first explosion was reported at 9:30 p.m. Friday in Plaquemine, La., with at least six further blasts, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi told WBRZ. You can see the tweet below:
Six fiery explosions at a chemical plant lit up the skyline near Louisiana's capital. The blasts happened late Friday at the Dow Chemical Facility. The company says it has not detected hazardous materials in the air. pic.twitter.com/R6308Ro33z
— CBS Saturday Morning (@cbssaturday) July 15, 2023
The shelter-in-place order was then implemented, affecting around 350 residences in Plaquemine, which is part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
Several videos on social media showed explosions and orange flames far up in the night sky over the neighborhood.
The explosions were caused by a fire at the plant’s Gylcol 2 Unit, the business later acknowledged, adding that no one was injured in the event.
On Friday, all of the plant’s employees and personnel were present.
“Crews have substantially reduced the fire and are working to fully extinguish it. Dow, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and a third-party company conducted air monitoring throughout the night and did not detect any community impact. Air monitoring is ongoing,” the company said in a statement to WAFB.
“Dow is committed to high operational and safety practices that consistently meet or exceed regulations and applicable laws. Dow and local officials will conduct a full review to understand the cause of this incident.”
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A separate facility on the same Dow property suffered a chlorine leak last year. A fire led to the leak at the time, forcing a shelter-in-place order across the area.
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