Explosion at Georgia Gulf Plant - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Explosion at Georgia Gulf Plant

  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Two people arrested after Sulphur hotel shooting

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:33:32 GMT
    Two people were arrested Saturday night in connection to a hotel shooting in Sulphur, one of whom was injured. According to Lake Charles police it's connected to a drive-by shooting that occurred on Friday afternoon.More >>
    Two people were arrested Saturday night in connection to a hotel shooting in Sulphur, one of whom was injured. According to Lake Charles police it's connected to a drive-by shooting that occurred on Friday afternoon. More >>
  • McNeese connects students to businesses in Southwest Louisiana

    McNeese connects students to businesses in Southwest Louisiana

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:30 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:30:29 GMT
    (Source: MGN Online)(Source: MGN Online)
    McNeese State University is proving its connecting students to big business in Southwest Louisiana thanks to a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant funds the second year of a five-year grant awarded to McNesse in 2013. University faculty said the grant will help solve local workforce issues through innovation. “The question people ask all the time is what is ...More >>
    McNeese State University is proving its connecting students to big business in Southwest Louisiana thanks to a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The grant funds the second year of a five-year grant awarded to McNesse in 2013. University faculty said the grant will help solve local workforce issues through innovation. “The question people ask all the time is what is ...More >>
  • Major Police presence outside Super 8 Hotel in Sulphur

    Major Police presence outside Super 8 Hotel in Sulphur

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:58:20 GMT
    Several witnesses told us they heard what they thought were gunshots just before 9 o'clock. Shortly after, several Super 8 Hotel guests were told to evacuate. At least one person was taken away by ambulance, according to witnesses. There is no word on their injuries. More >>
    Several witnesses told us they heard what they thought were gunshots just before 9 o'clock. Shortly after, several Super 8 Hotel guests were told to evacuate. At least one person was taken away by ambulance, according to witnesses. There is no word on their injuries. More >>

November 10, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

It was shortly after 12:38 Saturday afternoon that officials at the Calcasieu Office of Emergency Preparedness say a fire at the Georgia Gulf refinery in Westlake resulted in an explosion.   

"Georgia Gulf had an upset in one of their units, which resulted in a fire and then an explosion," said OEP Responder Robert Daughdril. 

We're told moments after the blast, heavy black smoke could be seen for miles. Authorities soon blocked off Old Spanish Trail leading to and from the plan entrance.

Georgia Gulf Plant Manager Will Henson tells 7 News the fire started at 12:38 p.m. in the plant's refrigeration unit, which uses propylene in the cooling process. That caused a small explosion. Daughdril says emergency responders had the fire under control by 12:55 p.m. 

"They're just now cooling things down and assessing the situation, trying to get everything under control and it will probably take some time to find out what exactly caused the leak or explosion," said Daughdril.  

According to State Police, hydrogen chloride acid was released on site. That prompted a temporary shelter in place for the Sasol plant next door. Air quality monitoring by DEQ and Georgia Gulf say there was no off-site impact. However, nearby residents beg to differ.

"I was detailing my truck and when I heard the alarms. I figured maybe there would be a shelter in place. I never heard a shelter in place so I finished my truck, parked it to the side. I went to Westlake picked up my wife's car, came back and I noticed this black soot all over my car after I finished it," said Westlake resident Jason Fruge.  

Fruge lives on East Dick Hayes Road, approximately 2 miles Northeast of the Georgia Gulf chemical plant.  He and neighbors describe the ashy soot as a thick oily black residue. Fruge is concerned it could be a potential health hazard. 

"What is actually on there, what are we breathing in this area. It's not just the looks of things, it's our health also," said Fruge.  

The black soot has been reported in Westlake and parts of Sulphur. We're told it is a by-product of the burning chemical. No word yet on if it is a hazard. Meanwhile no injuries have been reported, the all clear was given around 2:45 p.m. At this time, the incident remains under investigation.

Powered by WorldNow