An explosion at a gas cylinder filling plant in the US has claimed the life of one worker, and has injured another, it has now been confirmed.
Investigations into what caused a fatal fire at Air Liquide’s cylinder filling plant in the city of La Porte, Texas, are continuing after state authorities confirm the body of a worker has been discovered .
Authorities believe the explosion happened just before 7.30am (Texas time) in a lab on the 11400 block of West Fairmount Parkway at Driftwood, near Bay Area Boulevard.
Residents in the area were being urged to stay out of the area, and the roads near the site were closed, while air monitoring was being conducted by Harris County HazMat and other agencies were involved with assessing the situation.
Crews spent hours searching for the unaccounted for plant worker before finding his body hours later. News agencies have identified the man as 30-year-old Javier Ortiz, who worked at the Air Liquide plant as a technician.
The other injured employee is understood to have been airlifted to the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston, with serious burn injuries and was reported to be in a serious condition.
In a statement, authorities said, “The La Porte Fire Department continues to monitor and work with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office to understand the cause of the explosion and fire that took place this morning at Air Liquide on Fairmont Parkway.”
“Air Liquide has a contract firm assisting in cleanup along with heavy equipment for removing large portions of the building that collapsed.”
The road was later reopened.
Speciality Gas Report and gasworld understands that the incident could have knock-on effects on the supply chain in the region, with disruptions for several end-users, though further details are still yet to emerge.