Latest On Multi-Chem Explosion
State Police say the fire at Multi-Chem is under control and hazmat crews are spraying hot spots. Trooper Stephen Hammons says after all the fire is out, investigators can go into the plant to begin searching for its cause. He says the one-mile evacuation zone will remain through the night.
Company officials confirmed last night that there were no injuries. The blast occurred in a storage facility and forced a one-mile evacuation of the surrounding area, which will remain in place till State Police determine that its safe for the public to return. The evacuated area includes two local businesses, the University of Louisiana New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), and the New Iberia Airport. The airport is currently closed and the NIRC remains evacuated. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality staffers at the scene have identified xylene, toluene, and methanol among chemicals at the site, department spokeswoman Jean Kelly said. All three can pose health risks. However, the corporation and the DEQ said air quality measurements in the evacuation area were at safe levels as of Wednesday morning and that air monitoring was continuing.
Also, for local residents who've been displaced or need assistance because of the fire, a claim facility is opening today at Francis Romero Memorial Facility on 6301 Coteau Road, just off Highway 88 in New Iberia, from 4 pm till 8 pm. Beginning tomorrow it'll be open from 7 am till 7 pm until further notice. You can also call (866) 298 2558 for further claims assistance.
Official road closures from the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office:
* Landry at Admiral Doyle
* Estis at Broken Arrow
* Hwy 88 at Admiral Doyle
* Hwy 88 at Hwy 182
* Hwy 182 at Darby
* Landry at Hwy 674
* Hwy 674 at Hwy 3212
* Hwy 88 is open from Hwy 90 to Hwy 182
Also, the New Iberia campus of the South Louisiana Community College will be closed tomorrow. Also, Acadiana Techinical College, the Teche Area campus will be closed tomorrow. And the Iberia Parish Landfill at 5409 Freetown Road will be closed until further notice. All closures are the result of Tuesday's fire.