OAN’s Roy Francis
8:06 AM – Saturday, July 15, 2023
A fire at a chemical plant in Louisiana triggered an explosion on Friday prompting warnings from emergency officials for nearby citizens to remain indoors and turn off all air conditioners.
The explosion at Dow’s Chemical plant on the Mississippi River near Plaquemine, South of Baton Rouge shook homes several miles away. Iberville Parish officials said that the fire had started in an area where ethylene glycol, a highly flammable and combustible chemical, is handled.
The sheriff, Brett Stassi, told WBRZ-TV that a total of six explosions were reported around 9:30 p.m. local time on Friday. A massive explosion was see rising as well as thick heavy smoke. Residents as far away as 15 miles felt the explosion shake their homes.
The sheriff said that no injuries were reported in the explosion and that all workers were accounted for. The sheriff also explained that citizens were told to remain indoors overnight while environmental officials monitored the air in the area.
The parish council announced on Saturday morning that no hazards had been detected and that the air was safe, the citizens were told they can leave their homes.
As of early Saturday morning, Dow’s emergency crew still “continue to mitigate the fire.”
According to the CDC, ethylene glycol is a “clear, colorless, syrupy (viscous) liquid at room temperature. Often colored fluorescent yellow-green when used in automotive antifreeze.”
The most common danger is ingestion, it has a sweet taste when ingested. It can cause death if too much is eaten and shuts down the central nervous system, heart and kidneys.
The CDC says when it’s a liquid spray or mist, it can pollute crops, but it’s unlikely to cause harm as a vapor.
Breathing it could irritate eyes, lungs and mucous membranes. According to the CDC, exposure to more than 80 ppm can lead to “intolerable respiratory discomfort and cough.”
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