State News

I-10 in Lake Charles open after plant fire

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Posted: Dec 20, 2013 2:52 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Dec 20, 2013 4:51 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 0.0 (0 votes)

Topics: lake charles, plant, explosion, fire, emergency

WESTLAKE- I-10 has reopened following a fire at the Axiall refinery west of Lake Charles.

The fire has also been extinguished and sources tell WBRZ News 2 some plant workers are headed back into the facility.

At about 1:30 Friday afternoon, an incident forced evacuations and a shelter in place.

Company spokesperson Patricia Prebula said there was a fire at a furnace which holds vinyl chloride and hydrochloric acid.

"We know of no offsite impact at this point," Prebula told the Lake Charles newspaper, the American Press. But, shelters in place were issued for communities surrounding the plant.

The situation developed a day after Axiall joined the state in announcing the state was potentially going to be home to a new, $3 billion world-scale ethane cracker. The project would be built in conjunction with a related ethylene derivatives plant. But, a specific location was not released.

In addition to Westlake, Axiall also has an operation in Plaquemine.

A design would be drafted next year and, if the company's board of directors approves the project, commercial operations could begin by 2018.

Friday's fire is under investigation.

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