Update, 6:50 a.m. Monday
Iberville Parish officials said early Monday that the gas line rupture that caused a service outage for East Iberville customers has been repaired.
Crews will begin unlocking gas meters and lighting pilots for all customers, officials said. If residents are not home when the crews arrive, they will leave a card with a phone number to call.
GEISMAR — A pipeline leaked natural gas Sunday afternoon, causing a fire on River Road near the International-Matex Tank Terminals facility in Ascension Parish.
No injuries or fatalities were reported, according to a post on the Ascension Parish Homeland Security Facebook page.
Rick Webre, director of homeland security and emergency preparedness for the parish, said natural gas leaked from an industrial pipeline that transports products to the chemical storage facility. He said the leak resulted from a rupture to the pipeline, but officials are still investigating the exact cause.
The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. and extinguished a few hours later. The pipeline runs along River Road between Ashland Road and La. 73.
Webre said the leaked natural gas somehow ignited, which caused the fire. He said the supply to the pipeline had been turned off and the fire was quickly contained.
Crews then allowed the remaining leaked natural gas to burn off while keeping the fire contained, Webre said.
Later Sunday evening, Iberville Parish officials reported that all parish natural gas customers within East Iberville had lost service because the line lost pressure following the earlier gas leak. Officials said in a Facebook post they would notify residents as soon as service is restored.
Nathaniel Freeman, a board operator at the IMTT tank farm, said the cause of the leak and fire is unknown. He said the fire started shortly after 1 p.m.
The IMTT complex in Geismar is one of four the company owns along the Mississippi River between Ascension Parish and the New Orleans area. The facilities have a combined storage capacity of 20.8 million barrels and serve as bulk liquid chemical storage and transportation hubs.
The Geismar complex, which can move materials to and from rail, truck and barge and transfer chemicals into metal drums, stores a variety of chemicals, including hydrochloric acid, propylene oxide, toluene, methanol, toluene diisocyanate and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, state permit records say.
IMTT, which also owns a major chemical storage complex on New York Harbor in Bayonne, New Jersey, is owned by the Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation, a $5.5 billion publicly traded company, a 2017 company summary says.