A CHEMICAL FIRE BURNED at a plant in Louisiana and Gov. John Bel Edwards urged residents to shelter in place, even as emergency personnel were grappling with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
The storm made landfall Wednesday night over the state, forcing a major highway nearby the plant to close and diverting emergency crews. It was not immediately clear if the storm damage contributed to the start of the blaze.
“There is a chemical fire in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area. Residents are advised to shelter in place until further notice and close your doors and windows. Follow the directions of local officials,” the governor tweeted. “If you are in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area, shelter in place, close your windows and doors and TURN OFF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING UNITS. There is a chemical fire. Stay inside and wait for additional direction from local officials.”
The Louisiana State Police Emergency Services Unit said on Facebook that its technicians were working with hazardous materials involving a chlorine leak at the BioLab chemical manufacturing facility in Westlake near Lake Charles. ESU personnel were coordinating with plant managers to contain the leak and were urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel.