| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Second LA Plant Blast Claims One

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Just miles apart, two chemical plant explosions within two days in Louisiana claimed the lives of three people and sent well over 70 others to the hospital.

Ronald "Rocky" Morris Jr., 55, was killed in the blast on Friday at the chemical plant in Donaldsonville, LA. He had worked at the plant for 34 years.

The day before, an explosion at a plant in Geismar, LA, killed two people and sent more than 70 others to area hospitals.

The two plants were located only 10 miles apart. The cause of either explosion has not been officially confirmed.

Second Blast in Two Days

The Donaldson blast happened around 6 p.m local time after a nitrogen vessel ruptured in an area of the plant that was shut down for maintenance, the plant's owner, CF Industries Holding Inc., confirmed in a statement.

Donaldson plant

On Friday (June 14), an explosion at a chemical plant in Donaldson, LA, killed one person and sent seven others to the hospital. The site was only 10 miles from the Geismar plant explosion the day before that killed two and sent over 70 people to local hospitals.

CF Industries confirmed that four employees and three contractors were at the facility, which manufactures ammonia and other nitrogen fertilizers. As of Saturday (June 15), all but one employee had been treated and released.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and their families," said Lou Frey, VP and general manager of the Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex.

"Our focus in on our number one priority—the health and safety of our employees and the community. We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our employees."

According to the company, there was no fire or chemical release and no hazards were posed to the community.

"Workers were filling some type of vessel using nitrogen. It was overpressurized, causing it to rupture, causing the injuries an fatality," Louisiana State Police trooper Jared Sandifer told Reuters.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate once the site is deemed safe. The state police's hazardous materials unit was at the plant overnight Friday, Sandifer said, according to The Huffington Post.

During a press conference Friday night, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmondson said the explosion was a "catastrophic failure" of a mainfold used to distribute gas to the facility and that authorities are investigating if the explosion was caused by overpressurization or another cause.

First Explosion

The explosion at the Williams Co.'s Geismar plant happened at 8:37 a.m. last Thursday (June 13). Zachary Green, 29, and Scott Thrower, 47, were killed.

Geismar plant explosion
WWL-TV / Twitter

The Chemical Safety Board has deployed investigators to the scene of the Geismar plant explosion. The official causes of both explosions have not been determined yet.

OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are investigating and the cause has not yet been determined. An investigative team from the CSB was deployed and expected to arrive in Geismar over the weekend, according to a statement from the CSB.

A team of employees have returned to the unaffected area of the plant to further decommission the facility. The extent of the damage is currently unknown, the Williams Co. said in an update on Monday (June 17).

About the Companies

CF Industries, headquartered in Deerfield, IL, is a manufacturer and distributor of nitrogen and phosphate products, serving both agricultural and industrial customers.

The company operates nitrogen manufacturing facilities in the central U.S. and Canda; conducts phosphate mining and manufacturing in Florida; and distributes plant nutrients through a system of transportation equipment primarily in the Midwestern U.S.

Williams, headquartered in Tulsa, OK, owns and operates midstream gathering and processing assets, and interstate natural gas pipelines. The company also processes oil sands off-gas and produces olefins for petrochemical feedstocks.

The company's Geismar Plant produces approximately 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene annually.

The olefins team in Louisiana is also responsible for the ethane transportation business consisting of 200 miles of pipelines and a refinery-grade propylene splitter.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Explosions; Fatalities; OSHA; Petrochemical Plants; Pipeline; Polypropylene; U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Comment from shane hirvi, (6/18/2013, 10:22 AM)

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

Midsun Specialty Products
Stopaq 30+ Year Coatings

Use Stopaq corrosion prevention coatings on pipelines, field joints, tank chimes, structural steel and more. Learn more at

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

Tinker & Rasor
Holiday Detectors Made in the USA

When it comes to coating inspection, get the right instrument for the job. Tinker & Rasor pulse –type DC holiday detectors come standard with the widest voltage range available, 800 volts to 35,000 volts in one instrument.

Dampney Co., Inc.
Metal Patching Compound

One Part / Ready to Use / High Temperature. Fill surface imperfections, voids, rough welds prior to painting and powder coating.

Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

Manufactured from 100% Recycled Glass.
NO Crystalline Silica,
Beryllium & Arsenic
Great White Metal Finish!
4 plants on Navy QPL
Call us at 866-775-6226

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Hempel (USA) Inc.

Efficient systems and high quality products to reduce your maintenance costs. Visit Hempel Protective for more information.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail