Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A loud explosion was reported by residents, businesses, and the Sheriff’s Office in St. John and St. James Parishes around 8:00 AM this morning. After contacting several businesses and industries within the parish, the St. John Parish Department of Public Safety confirmed the location of the explosion to have occurred at Petroleum Fuel in Mount Airy.
The manager of Petroleum Fuel, Jim Herring, confirmed an unidentified flammable substance did explode inside of a dumpster at their plant. “An employee was scrapping bottles that were over twenty years old and were labeled flammable. We have not identified the substance in the bottle. Our procedure is to empty the bottle, and then cut the bottle into three foot pieces inside the dumpster. We believe that one of the bottles was not totally empty resulting in the explosion when the bottle was cut,” stated Herring.
“Fortunately no injuries occurred since the bottle was cut inside the dumpster,” he said. Mr. Herring stated that there are no concerns regarding hazardous substances in the air, and Petroleum Fuel is functioning under normal operations.