COUSHATTA, La. – Federal investigators are now looking into an explosion at a Red River Parish plant Thursday afternoon that left two workers burned.
Juan Rodriguez, deputy regional director for the U.S. Department of Labor, said Friday afternoon that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the explosion at ADA Carbon Solutions. No additional details could be released since it's an ongoing investigation, he said.
Other than confirmation of an explosion and injured workers, not much more information was available by anyone else contacted by KTBS.
The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed there were injuries in the blast at the plant located on Red River Mine Road east of state Highway 1. KTBS requested additional details but have yet to hear back from the sheriff's office.
Acting Red River Parish Fire Chief Jeremy Neal said his firefighters responded to a call at the plant and there were “a few” injuries. Firefighters were on the scene for four hours. No firefighters were injured.
However, Neal said he was prohibited from providing detailed information about what happened because of a confidentiality contract signed by the previous fire chief. The contract, which he said other area fire districts also signed, prevents the fire district from talking about what goes on on ADA Carbon Solutions’ property.
Bienville Parish Fire District Wards 4&5 also responded for mutual aid but likewise are bound by the same confidentiality agreement, Neal said.
After KTBS raised questions about the legality of a contract that limits public access to basic information about a fire response, Neal took the contract Friday afternoon to District Attorney Julie Jones for review.
Neither the state police hazardous materials unit nor the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are investigating the explosion since there were no hazardous materials emitted.
The Red River Parish Journal reported two employees were burned and flown from the scene in two different helicopters to Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport. A company official confirmed the injuries to the Journal but would not describe the extent of their injuries or provide additional information on what happened.
The initial call KTBS made to ADA Carbon Solutions was met with a series of recorded messages for the various departments. KTBS called back and spoke to someone in human relations who referred questions to the company’s communications group in Minnesota. A message has not been returned.
According to the company's website, ADA Carbon Solutions' primary focus is on providing activated carbon for a variety of environmental purposes with an emphasis on air emissions.