Explosion at natural gas facility in Gibson kills 3 workers, seriously injures 2 others _lowres


An explosion Thursday at a natural gas facility in Gibson left three workers dead and two seriously injured, Louisiana State Police said.

Officials with Williams Partners, the company that owns the facility, said an explosion and fire erupted at about 11 a.m. when contract workers, including the three killed and two injured, were performing maintenance on a tank, known as a slug catcher, designed to separate liquids and impurities from the natural gas steam.

One of the injured workers is in critical condition at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, said Meghan Parrish, a hospital spokeswoman.

Twenty workers were on the scene when the explosion occurred, said Trooper 1st Class Evan Harrell, a spokesman for the State Police.

The company said the facility was shut down when the explosion erupted and there was no gas flowing through its pipeline system.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” Williams Partners Operations Manager Warren Toups said in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and their families during this very difficult time.”

The company said service to its customers has not been interrupted.

Williams Partners said the facility is owned by one of its subsidiaries, the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company.

“There is no danger and no need for evacuation of surrounding area,” Harrell said late Thursday afternoon. “Black smoke is still coming out of the facility, but there is no concern for surrounding residents.”

State Police are leading the investigation into the explosion. Its hazardous materials team responded first, Harrell said.