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Fire continues to burn at New Iberia chemical plant

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Posted: Jun 15, 2011 2:47 AM by Brittany Rivas
Updated: Jun 15, 2011 2:47 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: New Iberia, chemical, plant, explosion, fire, Iberia Parish, business, Multi-Chem, police, hazmat

NEW IBERIA- A fire at a chemical plant in Iberia Parish continues to burn after a series of explosions Tuesday afternoon.

The first blast occurred just before 4 p.m. at at a facility owned by Multi-Chem Group LLC. It was followed by several more explosions, resulting in a large fire that fully engulfed the business.

Crews are allowing the fire to burn until it is safe for firefighters to approach the area.

Initially an evacuation order for a five-mile radius was ordered, but it has been narrowed to a one-mile radius since officials say the fire has greatly reduced in size overnight. The evacuated area includes the University of Louisiana New Iberia Research Center and the New Iberia Airport.

Roadways within the evacuation area will remain closed until it safe for the public to return.

There were no injuries reported from this explosion, and all employees of the facility and surrounding businesses have been accounted for.

A spokesman for Multi-Chem, a maker of oilfield chemicals, said the company was gathering information on what happened at its plant.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

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