An explosion at Williams Geismar, Louisiana olefin chemical plant has left two workers dead and nearly 100 injured. Louisiana State Police along with other local agencies were alerted to an explosion at the facility around 8:40 am on Thursday, June 13.
Local inlets were shut down as emergency-response crews evacuated the site and tended to the injured. The fire was extinguished quickly, valves closed and entrances blocked. Authorities have since returned control of the facility to Williams staff.
Williams' president and CEO said in a statement, "We are extremely appreciative of the prompt and efficient actions by local and state law enforcement and emergency responders for their assistance in this difficult time. We are focusing all necessary resources on assisting those impacted and determining the cause of the explosion."
The Geismar, La. facility annually produces approximately 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene. Also in Louisiana, the olefins team is responsible for the ethane transportation business consisting of approximately 200 miles of pipelines, as well as a refinery-grade propylene splitter.
Geismar is just 22 miles from the Donaldsonville nitrogen production facility where a Friday night explosion killed one worker in an unrelated blast.
Williams is cooperating with federal, state and local agencies in assessing the situation and determining the cause of the explosion. The extent of damage is unknown at this time.