No injuries reported in Mississippi plant blast, fire

Facility removes the liquid from natural gas and ships it to utilities along the East Coast.

June 28, 2016   by ASSOCIATED PRESS

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — A late-night explosion and fire broke out at a natural gas plant in southern Mississippi, but there were no injuries or fatalities reported, police said.

Pascagoula Police Capt. Shannon Broom said authorities received a report about the explosion at a BP plant around 11:30 p.m. June 28. He told The Associated Press that the company reported that while employees were at the site when the blast happened, everyone appeared to be safe.

Broom, who was reached by phone near the scene, said firefighters were working early to put out the fire.

“It’s contained to the plant and is in the process of being extinguished,” he added of the fire.

He said authorities weren’t aware of any injuries in the immediate aftermath but that details were still preliminary.

WLOX-TV reported that emergency crews at the site blocked off and traffic diverted as they secured the area for firefighters. The station posted brief video footage at its online site showing flames and smoke rising from the area. WLOX-TV also reported that crews from a fire station nearly 10 miles distant had felt the vibrations from the explosion even before heading to the site.

The plant located near Pascagoula had just been sold to the minority owner, Enterprise Products Partner L.P., from majority owner BP.

Company spokesman Rick Rainey said the Houston-based company had owned 40% and BP 60%.

“Once the fire is out, we’ll launch an investigation into the cause of the explosion and fire,” Rainey said.

The Mississippi plant removes the liquid from natural gas and ships it to utilities along the East Coast, Rainey said. The liquid is then sent to other plants where propane and butane are produced.

“We do not know at this time how long with plant will be offline,” Rainey said.

He said the plant has a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, but the plant was nowhere near its capacity.

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