Extent of damage unknown, unclear when operations will resume, company president says
Officials from the south Louisiana chemical plant where an explosion killed one worker and injured dozens of others say they still don't know the cause of the blast.
Alan Armstrong, president and CEO of plant owner Williams Companies Inc., held a news conference in Gonzales on Friday. He said the extent of the plant's damage is unknown and it is unclear when operations will resume.
Plant manager Larry Bayer says a crew of 12 people was securing equipment at the facility Friday and ensuring it was shut down properly after Thursday's explosion. Employees will continue to be paid while the plant is closed.
Company officials say they are cooperating with officials from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating the explosion.
The company said one of its employees, 29-year-old Zachary Green, died in the explosion. Green was an operator at the plant and started working for Williams last October.
Louisiana's health department said 77 people were treated at hospitals and at least 51 of them had been released by Thursday evening.
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