LA Gas Plant Blasts Under Investigation

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 10:05 AM gHale


Fire breaks out at a gas separation plant in Red River Parish, LA, May 2.
Photo by Eric Hatfield

Kinder Morgan crews are working to determine the cause of an equipment failure that caused multiple explosions at a gas treatment plant in Red River Parish, LA, May 2.

The blasts occurred just before 9 p.m. at the KinderHawk Plantation West treating plant just south of Caspiana and about three miles south of the Caddo Parish line. Caddo Ward 8 Constable Eric Hatfield said he shot video after calling in the explosion at 8:40 p.m.

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There was a secondary explosion about a half hour after he arrived on site, Hatfield said.

State police said the valves on site were too hot and too dangerous for crews to reach.

Kinder Morgan, which owns the facility, said the processing unit was affected as well as its associated piping. Both were isolated during the fire.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire inside a fenced area and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation, said Kinder Morgan director of public affairs Richard Wheatley.

The explosion forced three different households to evacuate and it shut down Highway 1 on the north end at the Caddo-Red River line and on the south end at Highway 509, according to state police.

“We do a mandatory evacuation that was eventually lifted after they did the control shut off of the facility,” said Trooper First Class Matt Harris.

Wheatley reported residual natural gas burned off and the fire was out at 12:27 a.m.

No injuries were reported during the explosion. No one was working on site at the time of the explosion, said state police trooper Cordell Hayes.

Harris said they turned the investigation over to Kinder Morgan.

“We’re there not to investigate how the equipment failure happened. That relies on the company,” he said. “We’re there to make sure that the company did what they were supposed to do, to make sure that they followed protocol and followed the laws of the state of Louisiana.”

Kinder Morgan released this statement early Wednesday morning:

“We especially want to thank the Louisiana State Police and other emergency responders, including fire and HazMat personnel, for their fast and professional response. We appreciate their expertise and cooperation in assisting us in managing this incident and bringing it to a safe, injury-free conclusion early this morning.”



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