Firefighting crews now in La. chemical plant

AP News
Posted: Jun 15, 2011 5:28 PM
Firefighting crews now in La. chemical plant

State police say fire is under control at a south Louisiana chemical plant and hazardous materials crews are spraying hot spots.

Trooper Stephen Hammons says that after all fire is out, investigators can go into the Multi-Chem Corp. plant to begin searching for a cause. He says businesses and homes within a mile probably will remain evacuated at least through the night.

Nobody was hurt in the explosion and fire Tuesday afternoon.

State Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly says chemicals at the site include xylene, toluene and methanol. All three can pose health risks.

However, the corporation and DEQ say air quality measurements in the evacuation area were at safe levels Wednesday and air monitoring is continuing.

Chemicals for oil fields are blended and stored at the plant.