NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Fire Department and State Police responded Thursday to a gas line explosion at the Michoud Facility in New Orleans East.
State Police spokeswoman Trooper Melissa Matey said 11 Entergy employees were in a trench working on a 20-inch pipeline at about 1:15 p.m. when it ruptured. There was a pressure explosion but no fire.
Eight employees were injured and seven were hospitalized. The most seriously injured worker was trapped in the trench for about an hour while firefighters dug him out by hand. He was taken to a trauma center in serious condition. All are expected to make a complete recovery.
Air quality was being monitored by NOFD hazmat, and no evacuations were ordered.
"The gas line has been secured, there is no current gas leak and there is no danger to the public. Electric and gas service to customers was not affected by the event," Energy said in a statement.
State Police are leading the investigation into why the pipeline ruptured.
An Entergy spokesman said the ruptured pipeline was deactivated in June, and employees were in the process of taking it out of service when the explosion occurred.
More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.