GEISMAR, La. – 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.
Louisiana’s health department said 77 people were treated at hospitals, with 51 being released. Hospitals reported that workers mostly had burns, cardiac and respiratory issues and bruises.
A body was found by hazardous materials crews going through the aftermath of the blast at the facility. Police identified the man killed as 29-year-old Zachary C. Green, of Hammond.
The company said the blast happened at 8:37 a.m. The plant, owned by The Williams Companies Inc., based in Tulsa, Okla., is in an industrial area of Geismar, about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.
The cause was not immediately known but the FBI said terrorism was not suspected.