A tank car imploded at a paper mill Monday, sending a huge pinkish-yellow cloud of poisonous gas into the sky and prompting evacuation of the neighborhood.
Scores of people descended on hospitals to be treated for burning eyes and throats. State police confirmed at least half a dozen injuries.
“Our emergency room is chaotic,” said state Rep. Jerry Thomas, a doctor at Riverside Medical Center in Franklinton, 20 miles from Bogalusa. “I don’t have total numbers, but everything is filled and they just keep coming.”
At least 50 people had probably arrived by 7:45 p.m., all with the same complaints: “Shortness of breath, eyes burning, throats burning,” he said. “It looks like a temporary thing for all of them. Some are receiving oxygen; some are just taking breaths and it’s going away.”