One Dead, Scores Injured In Louisiana Chemical Plant Explosion

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Source: Matthew DeLuca / NBC News

An explosion and fire at a Louisiana chemical plant Thursday morning killed one person and injured 73 more, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

The explosion took place at Williams Olefins chemical plant in Ascension Parish, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, state police said. A fire after the explosion was contained and then extinguished, and preliminary tests showed the air was safe.

Chemicals were being burned off, but there was no immediate threat to the public, said Jared Sadifer, a state police spokesman.

The fire, fueled by the petrochemical propylene, burned for more than three hours, though government monitors had yet to detect dangerous levels of emissions, Jindal told a news conference near the scene.

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