Hydrogen Gas Explosion at St. James Parish Fertilizer Plant - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Hydrogen Gas Explosion at St. James Parish Fertilizer Plant

Mosaic Faustina Fertilizer Plant Mosaic Faustina Fertilizer Plant

A hydrogen gas leak ignited at a plant in St. James Parish parish Wednesday evening, causing a loud explosion and shaking homes up to six miles away. Numerous residents reported a loud explosion around 8:15 p.m.

St. James Parish President Dale Hymel tells WAFB 9 News the explosion happened at the Mosaic Faustina Fertilizer Plant on LA-18, on the west side of the Mississippi River just across the Sunshine Bridge. Hymel said there were no injuries at the plant and there was no danger to the outside community.

Plant Manager Bob Dennis tells WAFB 9 News that the hydrogen gas leaked out of pipe, and was probably ignited by static electricity. Dennis says when hydrogen ignites, the end product is water, so residents in the area should not feel any effects.

Click here for a larger mapRichard Cousin tells WAFB 9 News: "We heard a big, just loud explosion. And it shook my whole house and we went to the back of the yard and I could look over the field. It's about six miles from here looking just straight across. And it was a big ole flame. It was like, uh. Like a big white cloud. It was like blowed up in the air. And all of a sudden you could see like the flames. And this big glowing orange light. All of sudden it was like 50-60 feet in the air. It was like a, you know, big smoke. Like a big steam or smoke area and all of a sudden you could see the flames just shooting straight up. It was something to see."

Louisiana State Police dispatched a hazardous materials crew to the scene, as a precaution.

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