Deadly plant explosion rocks Gibson community

Deadly plant explosion rocks Gibson community

GIBSON, LA (WVUE) - Investigators are trying to figure out what caused an explosion Thursday morning that killed three contractors and badly injured two others at Williams Partners natural gas facility on Bayou Black Drive in Gibson.

Smoke was still billowing from the facility hours after the blast. Maureen Pitre lives right across the street.

"It's very concerning," Pitre said. "We have a grandson who plays in the yard all the time."

Workers were doing scheduled maintenance when something went terribly wrong just before 11 a.m. Thursday morning. There's still no word yet exactly what caused the explosion, but Williams operations manager, Warren Toups, says the facility was not operational at the time.

"Our thoughts and prayers at this point are with the impacted families and those people that are injured, we will cooperate with the authorities,we will cooperate with all the regulatory agencies and we will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, but, at this time, we don't have any particular information to that effect," Toups said.

Louisiana State Police are now in charge of the investigation. Trooper Evan Harrell says the fire was contained to one section of the plant and there is no threat to neighbors. "As of right now, there is no danger, everything is contained to that site, there is no danger to the surrounding area," Harrell said.

Authorities are not releasing the victims names yet, but they tell us the 2 injured workers are now being treated at burn units. One was airlifted to a hospital in Baton Rouge, the other was taken to a hospital in Houma. 13 other Williams employees there at the time were not hurt.

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