Explosions, fire at Dow Chemical in Iberville Parish Friday evening
IBERVILLE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A small flame continued to burn at the Dow Chemical facility in Iberville Parish on the morning of Saturday, July 15, following a series of explosions that shook homes several miles away.
Plant officials said all employees were accounted for and no injuries were reported following the explosions on Friday, July 14, around 9:15 p.m.
Dow officials said the incident occurred in the facility’s Glycol 2 unit. They added company and local officials will conduct a full review to determine the cause of the incident.
Video from the near scene showed flames shooting from the facility and a large amount of smoke rising into the air.
Crews have been able to substantially reduce the fire and are now working to fully extinguish it.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said air monitoring outside of the facility did not detect any dangerous chemicals.
At one point during the night, Iberville Parish Emergency Preparedness Officials urged residents within a one-half mile radius of the plant to “shelter in place”. However, as of 5 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, the “shelter in place” order was lifted. Iberville Parish leaders said further updates would be posted here.
LA 1, Highway 405, and Enterprise Road to Sid Richardson have all been opened to drivers.
Dow has advised Iberville Parish that they are doing air monitoring and are not picking up any readings at this time.
“The Dow Fire Unit is cooling down the tanks in the area where the fire occurred, and they’re still telling us that no one was injured,” Stassi said about thirty minutes after the incident.
Kenneth Haydel was near the plant with family members and said he heard several explosions within a few seconds of one another. “We looked up in the sky and the whole sky was lit up orange,” Haydel said.
Residents as far away as along Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge reported that the explosions shook their homes.
The below statement was released by Dow officials, updating the public about Friday’s incident:
This is a developing story.
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