BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Four people were rushed to a hospital after being burned at the Exxon refinery in north Baton Rouge Tuesday afternoon.
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"Our goal is nobody gets hurt. Obviously we didn't achieve that today, and that's what makes this a sad day," said Mark Northcutt, refinery plant manager.
Four people were transported to the hospital with critical injuries. An unknown number of employees also suffered minor injuries.
Northcutt said plant officials are unsure how the fire started and will begin an investigation immediately. For now, he said their biggest focus is the injured workers.
"Right now what's important is, frankly, it's not the investigation, it's the individuals who were impacted and our hearts and prayers go out to them," said Northcutt.
A spokeswoman with Baton Rouge General Hospital confirmed all four of the critical patients are being treated at its facility's burn unit. The names of the injured people were not released.
Early reports from first responders suggested the victims may have been injured by isobutane, a flammable gas that is similar to propane, after a fire broke out at the plant around 4 p.m.
EMS and the Baton Rouge Fire Department were among emergency crews who responded. BRFD's hazmat team was on hand to monitor any dangerous chemicals that may have been released by the blaze. Crews reported no threat to the public.
Anytime there is an incident inside the facility, hazmat teams will respond and monitor to make sure the air quality stays safe for citizens living in the area.
"They did that in this instance and of course picked up no readings that we can tell at this time," said BRFD spokesman, Curt Monte.