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Louisiana Nitrogen Facility Explosion Claims One Life

June 17, 2013
By: Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Editor

CF Industries confirms that an incident took place at its Donaldsonville, Louisiana nitrogen production facility on Friday evening around 6 pm. The accident occurred in a section of the plant that had been shut down for maintenance activity. At this time, the company is able to confirm there was one fatality and there were seven other injuries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and their families,” said Lou Frey, Vice President and General Manager of the Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex. "Our employees are our greatest asset, and their safety is our highest priority."

The incident resulted in fatal injuries to Ronald "Rocky" Morris, Jr., a 34-year employee with the company. In addition, the following CF Industries employees were injured: Courtney Julien, Melvin Singleton, Jeramy Worsham and Kade Yarbrough. Three contractor employees also were injured.

CF Industries manufactures ammonia and other nitrogen fertilizers at its Donaldsonville facility. The incident involved the rupture of a nitrogen distribution header during the off-loading of nitrogen. There was no fire or chemical release nor was there any threat or hazard posed to the community.

Following the incident, the four CF Industries employees and three contract employees were sent to local hospitals for treatment. One CF employee remained hospitalized on Saturday in stable condition. All others had been treated and released by then.

CF Industries is investigating the cause of the incident and continues to cooperate with local and regulatory agencies throughout the process.

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