Second Deadly Industrial Accident in Ascension Parish in as Many Days

Jun 14, 2013

UPDATE 10:14 p.m. CST WRKF's Kelly Connelly on the scene in Donaldsonville:

An industrial accident at North America’s largest nitrogen complex in Donaldsonville, La. has left one dead and at least five injured.

A little after 6 p.m. Friday, a crew at the CF Industries plant loaded too much nitrogen into a transportation tank, causing it to rupture. Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson described the mangled piece of equipment as a popped balloon. Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain told the Associated Press a fire sparked by the blast was quickly extinguished.

The accident in Donaldsonville comes less than 36 hours after a deadly explosion that killed two and injured dozens more at a chemical plant owned by Williams Companies Inc. about 20 miles away across the Mississippi River in Geismar, La.

Edmonson said though this is the second accident in two days, Louisiana is prepared for accidents like it.

“We live in a chemical corridor. 40-plus percent of the hazardous material in the country either passes through originates from or is destined to the chemical corridor that runs from Houston to New Orleans.”

On its website, CF Industries says its nitrogen complex in Donaldsonville, "can produce and ship approximately 5 million tons of nitrogen for agricultural and industrial uses each year." The plant is up and running.