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updated: 6/13/2013 11:38 AM

At least 30 injured in La. plant explosion

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  • This photo provided by Ryan Meador shows an explosion at The Williams Companies Inc. plant in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar La., Thursday, June 13, 2013. The fire broke out Thursday morning at the plant, which the company's website says puts out about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene a year.

      This photo provided by Ryan Meador shows an explosion at The Williams Companies Inc. plant in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar La., Thursday, June 13, 2013. The fire broke out Thursday morning at the plant, which the company's website says puts out about 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene a year.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

GEISMAR, La. -- Officials say ambulances and helicopters have taken at least 30 people from a burning chemical plant after an explosion in Louisiana.

Residents of the community of Geismar, about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, were told to remain indoors with doors and windows closed.

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Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly says helicopters took three or four people Thursday from the plant owned by The Williams Companies Inc., and ground ambulances took 30. She did not have other details about injuries.

Kelly says tests have not found dangerous levels of chemicals in the air so far.

Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain says the explosion occurred around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the plant. It makes ethylene and propylene -- highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry.

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