Hundreds scramble after fire at Motiva Refinery in Convent

Published: Aug. 11, 2016 at 8:51 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2016 at 9:24 PM CDT
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CONVENT, LA (WVUE) - Hundreds of workers at the Motiva plant in Convent scrambled for safety after what many say was a big explosion and massive fire.

Though there were reports of lightning in the area, plant officials say the cause of the fire is not known.

"At this time we don't know the cause. We're looking at containing the event," said plant manager Hugues Bourgogne.

Zachary Waguespack was among hundreds of workers who scrambled for safety, as the heavy oil unit ignited just before 11 a.m.

"We heard a roaring noise and ran for the gate and didn't look back," said Waguespack.

By mid-afternoon, Motiva officials said they contained the fire with their own personnel, but nearby fire units were called to assist.

"Notification went out immediately after the 911 call," said St. James Parish Sheriff Willie Martin.

Plant officials say DEQ was monitoring the situation and did not order any evacuations.

No one was injured and the investigation continues.

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