WBRZ Channel 2, an ABC News affiliate, is reporting that a Baton Rouge
Exxon refinery has experienced an as-yet unrevealed emergency. Around
4 pm, firefighters, multiple ambulance crews, and the Baton Rouge Fire
Department HAZMAT team rushed to the plant. While no details about the
cause of the emergency have come to light, we know that 5 people were
injured in a fire.
Four of the five injured were taken to the burn unit at Baton Rouge General.
They are currently listed in critical condition. Additionally, WBRZ reports
that the accident involves isobutene, a colorless gas with a petroleum
scent. Isobutane is used for aerosol production and in refrigeration systems.
The Advocate reports that Mark Northcutt, the plant manager, does not know
what caused the incident—the same for Curt Monte, a fire department
spokesman. The plant as a whole continued operating, as the emergency
was isolated to that part of the refinery. This refinery is no stranger
to accidents—27 years ago, the ExxonMobil refinery was where an
explosion killed a worker and injured several others.
For continuing updates on this story, visit WBRZ’s site