DONALDSONVILLE, La. (AP) — One worker was killed and seven others were injured Friday night in an explosion at a south Louisiana chemical plant, only miles from where a blast the previous day led to the deaths of two workers, authorities said.
Louisiana State Police Trooper Jared Sandifer said seven people were injured, some severely, and were taken to area hospitals following Friday evening’s explosion at a CF Industries facility in Donaldsonville. Police identified the deceased worker as Ronald “Rocky” Morris, 55, of Belle Rose, La.
Sandifer said the explosion didn’t pose a threat to the area surrounding the plant.
Workers were running nitrogen through hoses from an 18-wheeler and pressurizing an unspecified “vessel” when the pressure built and caused the explosion, Sandifer said.
He said the vessel was designed “to hold thousands of pounds of pressure and it failed,” causing a blast that could send someone flying and scatter pieces from the metallic vessel.
“It did horrific damage to the area,” Sandifer said.
He said the state police’s hazardous materials unit will inspect the plant to ensure that it’s safe and help determine if there was negligence involved.
CF Industries’ website says the plant can produce roughly 5 million tons of nitrogen for agricultural and industrial uses annually.