GEISMAR, La.--One worker was killed and 72 others were injured in a June 13 explosion at a plastic feedstocks plant operated by Williams Cos. Inc. in Geismar, La.
The blast occurred shortly after 8:30 a.m. at the plant, which makes both ethylene and propylene monomers. The fatality and injury totals were confirmed by Christina Stephens, communications director with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. The conditions of the remaining victims were unknown, she added.
Stephens said that the fire at the site was under control. She said she believed that those injured were being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
Officials with Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams could not be reached for comment. A news release posted on the firm's website said that injuries have been reported, but that the number and extent of those injuries was not yet known.
Williams officials added in the release that emergency shut-down valves have been closed at the plant, and that the unit where the explosion occurred has been isolated.
The plant has annual capacity of almost 1.4 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of propylene. Williams ranks as one of the 10 largest natural gas suppliers in the U.S.