Residents and engineer react to Carrollton water plant explosion

Updated: Dec. 15, 2019 at 11:19 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Leaders with Sewerage and Water Board said it will take time to figure out what caused an explosion in turbine five at their Carrollton plant. They say they plan to bring in outside experts and engineers for a full investigation.

Fox 8 went back to the site of the explosion today to see how neighbors are faring and to get an engineer’s take on the blast.

94-year-old Willard Anderson says his nerves are a lot calmer than the last time we spoke. Directly across from the Carrollton Plant, the explosion in Turbine five shattered his front windows and left him in a state of shock.

“I feel better but not as well as I did before the accident,” Anderson said.

A resident here for 55 years, Anderson says nothing like this has ever happened and he hopes it will never happen again.

Professional Engineer HJ Bosworth explained why glass was found on both the inside and outside of people’s homes.

Bosworth has worked in power plants before. He hasn’t seen the damage inside Sewerage and Water Board’s plant but he broke down some of the physics.

You need a fuel ignition source and some oxygen In order for an explosion to happen, according to Bosworth.

“There was some kind of fuel that got into the turbine. There was enough heat in the turbine to ignite the fuel and cause an explosion,” Bosworth said.

Though the root cause is still undetermined, Bosworth says the strength of the blast is evident.

The exhaust took a lot of the force and he says it was enough to knock the exhaust stack from its supports. It’s just a symptom of what happened the real problem is in the building to your left where the turbine casing is probably been destroyed.

This is what a steam-powered turbine looks like. It’s number four. The one that first had issues, triggering workers to switch on gas-powered, he says.

“Both are old and situations like this could happen,” Ghassan Korban, executive director of Sewage and Water Board, said.

Sewerage and Water Board leaders still don’t know what caused the initial issue in turbine four. They say that’s part of their current investigation.

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