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Chemical plant evacuated after threat

3 years 7 months 3 days ago October 23, 2013 Oct 23, 2013 Wednesday, October 23 2013 October 23, 2013 10:53 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones

GEISMAR - Authorities evacuated the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar Wednesday morning in response to a reported bomb threat.

A search of the plant found nothing, and workers were allowed back in a few hours later according to the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office.

Louisiana State Police said the incident began as a bomb threat, and company security swept the plant after the threat was reported around 8:30 a.m. Sheriff's investigators said the bomb threat was written on the stall of a portable bathroom, but nothing was found in the plant. 

A plant spokesperson said about 1,700 people were at the plant when they called for the evacuation, and the all-clear was given around 10:45 a.m.

Workers at the plant are continuing construction on an expansion to the facility, and repairing damage caused by an explosion on June 13 which killed two workers and injured more than 100. Plant operators said earlier this month the explosion was due to a cloud of vapors which ignited after a reboiler ruptured.

A federal report over that explosion is not expected to be released until next year. Plant officials said they expected the plant to restart in early April 2014, which is when they also plan to bring the expansion online.

News 2 will have more on today's incident here at WBRZ.com and starting on News 2 at Noon.

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