DEVELOPING: Explosion Kills 1 at La. Chemical Plant, Injures 73
Authorities say an explosion took place Thursday morning at the Williams Companies Inc. olefins plant in Geismar, La. The company manufactures ethylene and propylene, which are highly flammable gases.
We'll bring you updates here as we get them...
UPDATE, 3:00p ET: We just heard from Gov. Bobby Jindal, who said one person was killed in the blast and 73 people were taken to area hospitals. All workers at the plant have been accounted for.
UPDATE, 2:00p ET: Here you can see some of the latest images we're getting from the scene of the blast. The latest number stands at 33 injured. No word on what caused the explosion. We are awaiting remarks from Gov. Bobby Jindal.
UPDATE, 12:25p ET: According to AP, more than 30 people have been taken to the hospital after the blast and resulting fire.
GEISMAR, La. (AP) -- Officials say ambulances and helicopters have taken at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion in Louisiana.
Residents of the community of Geismar, about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed.
Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly says helicopters took three or four people Thursday from the plant owned by The Williams Companies Inc., and ground ambulances took 30.
She did not have other details about injuries. Kelly says tests have not found dangerous levels of chemicals in the air so far.
Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain says the explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the plant. It makes ethylene and propylene -- highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.
UPDATE, 12:15p ET: The Williams Company Inc. issued the following statement on the blast:
As of 10 a.m. CST - June 13, 2013
This morning, at approximately 8:37 a.m. Central Standard Time, an explosion occurred within the Williams Geismar olefins plant. At the onset of the incident, Louisiana State Police, Ascension OEP and Iberville OEP were notified. Both Ascension and Iberville OEPs activated their emergency alert systems.
We are currently focused on the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors and the local community who are responding to the situation. Emergency shut-down valves have been closed. The unit is isolated.
The fire is greatly diminished at this time. Our emergency-response crews are thoroughly trained to respond to these types of incidents and are diligently performing their work with their first priority being the safety and well-being of people in and around the area.
First responders are on the scene and local routes to the plant have been closed by the local authorities.
We are in the process of accounting for all personnel. Injuries have been reported, the number and extent of those injuries is not known at this point.
As we get new information, we will provide it.
Below is more information out from the Associated Press. Stay tuned to Fox News for more developments:
State police say a reported explosion has touched off a fire, injuring people at a petrochemical plant about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.
Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain says he doesn't know how many people were hurt, but saw ambulances taking people from The Williams Companies Inc. olefins plant in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar (GYS'-mahr).
The fire broke out Thursday morning at the plant, which makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.
State police are asked residents in St. Gabriel area to shelter in place from Highway 3115 to Highway 74 as a precaution.
The company's website says the plant puts out about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene a year.