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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Gas facility explosion leaves 3 workers dead

Gas facility explosion leaves 3 workers dead

GIBSON, La. (AP) — An explosion at a Louisiana natural gas facility Thursday left three workers dead and two seriously injured, police said.

The explosion happened about 11 a.m. at a facility owned by the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of major natural gas supplier Williams Partners, authorities said. The facility is located on a small highway near Houma.

The workers killed and injured were contractors doing maintenance work when the explosion occurred, Williams Partners said in a statement.

Two of the workers were identified as Danos employees Samuel Brinlee, 40, of Berwick, and Casey Ordoyne, 36, of Larose, according to a Danos press release.

Eight Danos employees were working at the facility at the time of the accident. Two employees sustained minor injuries and were taken to Terrebonne General Medical Center for treatment.

“Our employees are part of our extended family, and we are devastated by the loss of Sam and Casey,” said CEO and President Hank Danos. “We ask for thoughts and prayers for the families and loved ones of the deceased, the survivors and all those impacted as we cope with this difficult loss. This is a sad, sad day.”
Williams Partners said its 13 workers at the facility were unharmed.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy," said Williams operations manager Warren Toups.

In the statement, Williams Partners said the facility was shut down and no gas was flowing through its pipeline at the time of the explosion. The company said service to its customers had not been interrupted.

The bodies of the three workers were found following the explosion, said state police Trooper Evan Harrell. Black smoke billowed from the facility hours after the explosion. Officials said the smoke posed no health risks, and no evacuations were ordered.

The company said the maintenance work involved a "slug catcher," a tank designed to separate liquids and impurities from the natural gas stream.

Danos in the process of gathering more information about the accident and is fully cooperating with the investigation teams to help determine the cause of this tragedy.