Three victims of Geismar explosion remain hospitalized; no longer critical

Three victims of Geismar explosion remain hospitalized; no longer critical
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POSTED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 7:13pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 8:03pm

Two patients remain in the hospital following Thursday’s deadly explosion at Willaims Olefins plant in Geismar.

All of the remaining patients are listed in either good or fair condition. One is being treated at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and one is being treated at the Baton Rouge General.

While the victims of the explosion continue to heal, investigators work to figure out why the explosion happened in the first place.

"A significant amount of damage was created,” Taylor Moss, LSP Emergency Services, said. “In these type of events once we ensure the public's safety we relinquish control back to the facility, OSHA will come in with an investigator who is already on site and conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident."

An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board began work at the plant over the weekend. The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accident.

"A lot of us in this industry have spent much of our careers working to make it safe to operate," Alan Armstrong, CEO of Williams Companies, said. "And so when something happens like this, it honestly feels like a big failure."

The initial blast killed Zachary Green, 29, of Hammond. The following day Scott Thrower, 47, of St. Amant, died at the Baton Rouge General.

A total of 77 people were injured from the blast. They included both full time and contract employees. Officials say there were 839 people at the plant when it happened at around 8:30 a.m. The contract workers were being utilized for an expansion project.

Armstrong stated that all Williams’ employees will be paid for the duration of the closure. He said he will need to speak with the contracting companies about whether and how those workers will receive compensation.

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