Louisiana petrochemical plant fire: LIVE UPDATES

Louisiana petrochemical plant fire: LIVE UPDATES
A large explosion shook a petrochemical plant in the industrial district of Geismar in Louisiana on Thursday morning. Numerous burn victims have been taken to hospital, and one person has died.

The Williams Olefins plant, opened in 1999, produces two widely-used explosive compounds, propylene and ethylene.

Read RT's full story about the Louisiana plant fire.

18:55 GMT: Governor Bobby Jindal says that 73 people were taken to hospital following the fire. He also says that no dangerous emissions have been released, but authorities are still testing the air quality.

18:01 GMT: Louisiana police have confirmed that one person has died as a result of the injuries sustained in the explosion.

17:57 GMT:  Acadian Ambulance say they have now transported 60 injured people. 47 were driven to medical units, and 13 had to be airlifted rapidly.

17:53 GMT: 8 people are being treated in Baton Rouge General Hospital, with one in critical condition.

17:25 GMT: Louisiana State Police say that the fire in the plant has been extinguished.

16:51 GMT: Here is another picture of the fire from earlier this morning.


16:27 GMT: Louisiana State Police say that the road closures will stay in place "until further notice".

16:26 GMT:  The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says that the total number of those injured in the blast is 33, WAFB reports. 30 were taken by ambulance, and three airlifted. The total number of those in the plant at the time of explosion is estimated to be around 600.

16:25 GMT: The Ascension Parish Emergency Operations Center has a opened a phone line for those worried about family members. The number is 866-380-2303.

16:19 GMT: AP reports that the number of those hospitalized has gone up to 30, according to officials. 


16:03 GMT: Although by-products of the chemicals at the plant can be toxic at high concentrations, Louisiana State Police are saying they are not currently a "public threat".

15:54 GMT: Local ABC affiliate reports:

15:51 GMT: An update from the private ambulance company on-site:

15:43 GMT: Baton Rouge station WAFB reports that 6 staff have been airlifted to hospital by helicopter to be treated for burns.

15:39 GMT: Louisiana Emergency Operations Center is refuting figures of 7 fatalities that appeared in earlier news reports. 

15:35 GMT:  Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency say that they are monitoring the air quality, but do not yet know if any dangerous chemicals have escaped.

Spokesperson Jean Kelly has said "we're just in the very beginning of this."

15:34 GMT:  There is a two-mile shelter around the plant. Roads LA 30 at LA 74, LA 30 at LA 73, LA 74 at LA 3115, and LA 75 at LA 3115 have also been blocked off, with police suggesting locals use alternative routes.

15:28 GMT:


15:27 GMT: Louisiana Emergency Response Network say that there are 25 injured, but currently no fatalities as a result of the explosion.

15:25 GMT:


15:17 GMT: Local CBS affiliate reports:


15:12 GMT: The area, 60 miles north of New Orleans, is home to a whole cluster of petrochemical plants, owned by giants Shell, BASF and others.


15:10 GMT:  Update from a local news reporter:



15:07 GMT:


15:00 GMT: Here is an amateur video of the fire, which appears to still be raging.


14:58 GMT: Numerous eyewitnesses on Twitter say police are telling locals to stay inside and shut windows.