U.S. News

One worker unaccounted for after Phillips 66 Louisiana pipeline fire

(Reuters) - A Phillips 66 employee was missing on Friday and a contract worker remained hospitalized after an explosion and fire on Thursday at a Phillips 66 pipeline station in southern Louisiana, parish and company officials said on Friday.

The incident led to the evacuation of about 60 homes in Paradis, Louisiana, a town of about 1,200 residents west of New Orleans, officials in St. Charles Parish said.

Evacuation restrictions had been lifted by late Friday morning but residents needed to show proof of residence to get onto Highway 631, which shut following the blast.

Six workers were at the facility when the explosion occurred. Two were taken to a hospital with injures, St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said at a news conference aired on local news outlets.

Three workers had minor or no injuries, Champagne said.

The incident occurred at the Paradis Pipeline Station operated by Phillips 66 about 30 minutes west of New Orleans, a company spokesman said.

The pipeline has been blocked in and remaining product in the line is burning off, Phillips 66 said in an online notification. Champagne said the fire could burn for hours or at least a day.

By mid-day Friday, the fire was going down and pressure on the line was decreasing, a Phillips 66 official said at a news conference.

The blast occurred during routine maintenance and its cause is under investigation, he added.

The pipeline carries y-grade, a mixture of natural gas liquids such as propane and butane, from Venice to Paradis, Louisiana.

Reporting by Arpan Varghese, Nallur Sethuraman and Nithin Thomas Prasad in Bengaluru; Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; and Liz Hampton in Houston; Editing by Bill Rigby and Tom Hogue