The Latest: Evacuation lifted; 1 missing; fire 'decreased'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2017 2:30 PM
The Latest: Evacuation lifted; 1 missing; fire 'decreased'

PARADIS, La. (AP) — The Latest on an explosion and fire at a pipeline in south Louisiana (all times local):

Noon

Authorities in south Louisiana say a pipeline fire has "significantly decreased" and an evacuation of nearby residents has been lifted.

However, one unidentified Phillips 66 employee was still missing Friday.

A Thursday night explosion sparked the fire at the company's pipeline station in St. Charles Parish. The company said two contract workers were injured.

The company said the pipeline carried liquid natural gas components. Flow to the pipeline was blocked but the remaining product was still burning and it was unclear when the fire might end.

About 60 residents were evacuated Thursday night. The parish Sheriff's Office said in a midday news release that the evacuation was lifted, but people must show proof of residence to enter the area.

Part of Louisiana Highway 631 remained closed.

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9 a.m.

Phillips 66 officials say one of the company's employees remains unaccounted for after an explosion sparked a fire at a pipeline station it operates west of New Orleans.

The company said in a statement that six people were working at the site in Paradis, Louisiana, when it caught fire around 7 p.m. Thursday, and two of them were taken to hospitals. St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said one of them was taken to a burn center.

The sheriff said a helicopter was being brought in to help search for the missing worker.

The company said the pipeline carries raw natural gas liquids and extends from Venice to Paradis, Louisiana.

The sheriff said the source of the 20-inch pipeline had been shut off, but the fire would have to burn off the rest of the liquid inside.