Sources report that a second victim from yesterday's chemical plant explosion has been pronounced dead this afternoon. He was receiving treatments at the hospital when he succumbed to his burn injuries and lost his life. The 47 year old employee was at the burn unit of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center at the time he passed away. Louisiana State Police Department Capt. Doug Cain shared with the Los Angeles Times that he was among the handful of victims they were concerned with over last night due to their critical condition. Cain reports that they never had the opportunity to speak with him before his death this afternoon.
The chief executive of the Tulsa, Oklahoma based company, Alan Armstrong, claims that their main goal at this point is to come alongside the two families who have lost their husbands as well as the others who have been harmed by yesterday's plant disaster. Armstrong says that four contractors and two employees are still hospitalized at this time; and that out of their 839 total workers on site yesterday, 100 of them received some level of hospital treatment for injuries.
Larry Bayer, the plant manager, when interviewed shared that their site was currently undergoing an expansion project, and the area in which the explosion occurred was were the production of propane and propylene took place, extremely flammable chemicals. Still at this time, the investigators are uncertain as to what the cause of the explosion was, though Williams Cos. is fully cooperating with investigators as they work through the process. Recent news reports share that just today a class action lawsuit was filed against the company because of an injured worker who was hurt by the smoke plume while working on scaffolding in the near vicinities of the explosion.
OSHA investigators were at the scene often accident and claimed that the investigations could take up to six months to conduct, and though they refuse to yet answer questions regarding yesterday's events, it appears the company does not have an inspection history with OSHA. Bayer reports that their location is one that is "devoted to operating a safe facility" and that workers were on their site in 12 hour shifts in order to continually monitor the dangerous chemicals on the plant in hopes of preventing disasters like this from ever happening. They aim to do whatever it takes to come to the root of the cause which led to the disaster in order to prevent a disaster like this from ever occurring again.
The plant was closed down after the evacuation, and they are uncertain as to how long it will be before the investigations are preformed and the site can be reopened. Bayer reports hat they are currently testing the structural integrity of their plant to make sure it will be safe for work later in the future. At this time the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not see any serious signs of chemical exposure or air contamination for the people into the surrounding communities.