PORT ALLEN — Two contract employees with Placid Refining Company had to be transported to local hospitals Wednesday morning after they were injured on the job while working in an area around the company’s storage tanks, company officials reported.
Rafael Bermudez, a spokesman for Placid Refining, confirmed in a statement that two workers were airlifted to a local hospital for treatment. No information was available from the company on their conditions as of Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency responders described the situation as a gas leak, but Bermudez said there was no known release of any substances from the tanks or nearby facilities.
Placid Refinery is along La. 1 in Port Allen.
“Placid has notified the appropriate state and federal agencies and is investigating the cause of the incident,” Bermudez said. “There are no reports of exposure to persons outside of the refinery.”
In a statement later Wednesday afternoon, Bermudez said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the incident. The federal regulatory agency is charged with regulating workplace safety and health.
Lafiton Lane was temporarily shut down Wednesday morning so that the workers could be airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.
The contractors, employees of a company that provides services to Placid, were performing work that required use of fresh air supplies, which are provided at the site, Bermudez said.
The company is conducting its own investigation of the incident to determine if the safety equipment provided was properly used, he said.
Asked about the conditions of the workers, Bermudez responded: “We have no information regarding their condition. They work for a contractor, and we are working with that company regarding updates on their employees’ conditions. Privacy policies also restrict the type of information Placid is able to provide.”
He said he would provide additional information as it becomes available.