This is breaking so information will be updated.
(CNN) -- An explosion has been reported at a chemical plant in Geismar, Louisiana, according to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office.
Spokeswoman Allison Hudson did not have details on damage or injuries.
CNN affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans described the explosion and fire as major, but reported no additional details.
There have been reports of injuries. Emergency crews are on the scene.
Residents nearby have been told to stay inside; a shelter in place has been activated.
LSP is sending a hazardous materials team to the fire.
Troopers said LA 74 and LA 30 at LA 3115 are closed.
Gulf Coast Olefins
The Geismar, La. facility annually produces approximately 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene. Also in Louisiana, the olefins team is responsible for the ethane transportation business consisting of approximately 200 miles of pipelines, as well as a refinery-grade propylene splitter.
A neighboring plant says the major exposure is Butadiene spheres. They say that Williams Olefine has a hydrocarbon fire and the concern is that another explosion could occur and the fire is not under control.
According to emergency information records, a one mile evacuation is recommended in all directions if the substance is caught on fire. Polymer grade propylene is also flammable.H/T to Keith930:
Meanwhile, Louisiana residents worry about accidents. On March 22, Westlake’s PVC chemical plant in Geismar, 25 miles south of Baton Rouge, exploded and released vinyl chloride, chlorine and hydrochloric acid into the air. Roads and a long stretch of the Mississippi River were closed for awhile. A lawsuit on behalf of neighbors was filed against the company.UPDATE: At least 30 taken by ambulance and 3 airlifted after #Louisiana chemical plant blast
The nonprofit Louisiana Bucket Brigade and the Washington, DC- based Environmental Integrity Project coauthored letters last Dec. 14 and again on May 17 of this year, asking EPA to revoke the DEQ’s authority to manage the Clean Air Act program—because of frequent, petrochemical plant accidents. “Each of these accidents releases enormous amounts of hazardous pollution that pose risks to the health and safety of the communities we advocate for,” the May 17 letter said. The groups faulted DEQ for air monitoring teams reaching accidents too late; not sharing information about accident monitoring on a timely basis; providing data that isn’t transparent or comprehensible; and not surveying people for chemical exposure.
According to the May 17 letter, “when Louisiana does take enforcement actions, the penalties are little more than a slap on the wrist. In 2010, the average penalty for a Clean Air Act violation in Louisiana was $1,329.86, the second lowest in the nation.” In Texas, the average penalty for a violation in 2010 was much greater at $26,619.92.