Three Dead In Explosion At DeRidder Paper Mill
There has been an explosion at the Packaging Corporation of America's DeRidder Containerboard Mill. Three people have been reported dead, with one additional moderate and six minor injuries. One worker who was unaccounted for during the initial report was found safe.
The incident occurred around 11:10 this morning, when two tanks at the packaging plant exploded. The scene has been contained by multiple police, fire, and first responders.
According to the early reports, the incident likely resulted from welding being done on a tank containing wood chips, which create hydrogen gas as anaerobic bacteria feed on the organic fibers as they deteriorate. Sparks from the welding operation are believed to have ignited the gas, resulting in the explosion.
The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office is asking family members seeking more information to go to the Beauregard Covered Arena on Hwy 190 rather than calling dispatch.