350 local households were forced to evacuate and were given shelter-in-place orders after a chemical plant in Louisiana exploded into a ball of fire on Friday night.
A viral video posted online shows a massive plume of smoke and fire engulfing the Dow’s Plaquemine chemical facility.
The LA 1 Highway between Bayou Jacob and Sid Richardson was also closed.
The explosion shook homes in the nearby state capital, Baton Rouge.
One resident, Kenneth Haydel, told WAFB: “Me and my family had been out fishing having a good time, next thing you know the thing blew up three times back-to-back.
“We looked up in the sky and the whole thing was lit up and we saw all the chemical smoke right up behind it. It was a terrible situation. We knew that was nothing normal.”
In a statement, Dow said that the Emergency Operations Center of the company was managing the blaze and had contacted city officials.
The incident is being investigated but no injuries were reported.
Air quality testing was conducted but reports said that no chemical leak had been found from the Mississippi River facility.
The state Department of Environmental Quality was sending its crews to conduct further air quality testing as a precaution, said spokesperson Greg Langley.
On Saturday morning, Dow said in a statement: “As of 8:45 AM (CDT), Hwy 1 in front of Dow is open. Dow and a third party will continue air monitoring along Hwy 1, within the community and around the facility.”
Parish officials said that Dow’s Gylcol 2 Unit handles the potent explosive and flammable chemical, ethylene oxide.
Federal authorities stated that the substance is a human carcinogen with years of exposure.
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