Video: Explosions Rock Dow Chemical Plant in Louisiana

  • Post category:News / US News

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Several large fireballs were seen billowing over the Dow Chemical plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana on Friday, prompting local authorities to issue shelter-in-place orders to assess whether hazardous chemicals posed a risk to the public.

No injuries were reported and all employees of the plant are accounted for, according to local officials.

“We currently have a fire at our Dow Plaquemine facility,” Dow Louisiana Operations posted to Facebook. “The event is being managed by our Emergency Operations Center and we are in contact with officials. All people are accounted for. As we assess this event and know more we will post updates on this page.”

“Dow’s Emergency Operations Center is working closely with local and state agencies to respond to the incident on our Louisiana Operations site,” the company later stated. “All personnel are safe and accounted for. Air monitoring has not detected hazardous materials in the air. We will update this page when we have more information.”

350 households were told to remain inside so first responders could assess the extent of chemical exposure near the plant. The order has since been lifted.

“That order lifted around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, July 15. According to the Council’s Facebook page, Dow assured them it was safe to lift the shelter-in-place order, and the company will keep monitoring air quality, as is the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and a third party,” KLFY Lafayette reported.

The incident took place at Dow’s Gylcol 2 Unit, which makes the potent flammable and explosive chemical ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen.

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Plant officials said they were still working to determine the cause of the incident, which began around 9:15 p.m.

This comes amid a string of explosions and fires at U.S. chemical plants and food production facilities over the last year, leading many to wonder whether at least some are attributed to industrial sabotage.

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