On Thursday, May 3, a fire broke out at a chemical plant in Duson, Louisiana,
which sent plumes of smoke into the air. In the aftermath of the fire,
an evacuation was ordered for residents one mile north of the FlowChem
Technologies plant. Those within three miles north of the plant were asked
to shelter in place.
Currently, the air quality is being tested by the Department of Environmental Quality.
The evacuation will not be lifted until the air quality test is complete.
The Acadia Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
reported that Xylene was one the chemicals that contributed to the explosions
and subsequent fire. Xylene is a solvent that is found in industries involving
printing, rubber, paint, and leather; it can also be found in airplane
fuel, gas, and cigarette smoke.
So far, no injuries have been reported from the blast, but the building
remains engulfed in flames.
Both lanes of Interstate 10, from the Lafayette I-49 exit to Crowley, have