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1 dead, 77 hurt in La. plant explosion

June 13, 2013 • National News


A chemical plant fire is seen in an aerial photo about twenty miles southeast of Baton Rouge, in Geismer, La., Thursday, June 13, 2013. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

GEISMAR, La. (AP) — A ground-rattling explosion Thursday at a chemical plant in Louisiana ignited a blaze that killed one person and injured dozens of others, authorities said. Witnesses described a chaotic scene of towering flames and workers scrambling over gates to escape the plant.

“There was fire in excess of 100 to 200 feet in the air,” said state Sen. Troy Brown, who felt the blast at his house, less than five miles away. “It was scary to see.”

A thick plume of black smoke rose from the plant after the blast even after the fire was extinguished. At a roadblock several miles away where family members waited anxiously to hear about loved ones, flames were still easily visible above the trees even hours later.

Louisiana’s health department said 77 people were treated at hospitals, with 51 being Login to read more

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