Two people have now died as a result of Thursday morning’s explosion at the Williams Geismar, LA, olefins plant in Ascension Parish.

Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain said 47-year-old Scott Thrower died at a hospital on Friday. Williams late Thursday confirmed the death of Zachary Green, 29, an operator at the plant who had started working for Williams last October.

More than 70 people were injured, some of them seriously.

“We are extremely appreciative of the prompt and efficient actions by local and state law enforcement and emergency responders for their assistance in this difficult time,” said Williams CEO Alan Armstrong. The company said it had deployed grief counselors to the area of the plant.

The fire has been extinguished and Williams said it is cooperating with federal, state and local agencies in determining the cause of the explosion (see Daily GPI, June 14). The extent of damage is unknown at this time, and it is not known when operations at the plant will resume, the company said.

Analysts at Tudor, Pickering & Holt Inc. said the length of time that the plant is shut down will determine the financial impact to Williams. According to their calculations, every 30 days of downtime represents an approximate $40 million impact to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The analysts said the plant had been scheduled for 50 days of downtime this summer for an expansion.

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