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Investigation continues at plant

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GEISMAR - Operators of a chemical plant which exploded last month, killing two workers, announced plans today to reopen the facility by April 2014.

On June 13 the Williams Olefins plant exploded after investigators said a catastrophic failure occurred in one of the heat exchangers associated with the propylene fractionator, a section of the plant which divides mixtures into smaller quantities.

Williams, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the explosion which killed Zachary Green, 29, and Scott Thrower, 47. Each investigation is still ongoing.

The plant has been offline since the explosion so investigators can find the exact cause.

When the plant restarts operations, Williams plans to expand the plant's ethylene productions capacity by 50 percent.

While the facility is offline, plant workers have resumed constructing the expansion across the majority of the plant outside of the incident area, which is limited to the immediate vicinity.

Before plant employees were able to return to work, they were compensated by Williams while they were waiting for their specific assignment.


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