A pipeline exploded at the Williams Field Services natural gas plant this morning, killing one, Gibson fire officials confirmed.
State police Trooper Evan Harrell said the cause of the explosion was under investigation.
CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans reported the workers were doing maintenance on the facility, which was not operational at the time and did not have gas flowing through the system, according to Williams Partners officials.
The plant is in an area that has residences and forest nearby, but the blast and fire did not spread to the extent that evacuations were needed, Harrell said. After an initial inspection, company officials said they suspect the blast’s source was a tank that collects hydrocarbons that build up within natural gas pipelines.
Local authorities in Gibson and the Louisiana State Police are investigating the explosion.
Neighbors across the street say they never saw it coming.
The school’s enrollment is about 190 students in grades pre-kindergarten through six.
“We are talking about serious, life threatening injuries”, Harrell said.
As a result of the incident, the company was charged with a series of violations, ranging from willful to serious, and was initially ordered to pay a penalty of $99,000.