A large chemical fire has broken out over Lake Charles, Louisiana, hours after the eye of Hurricane Laura passed directly over the city. Louisiana State Police say they’re responding to a chlorine leak at a company that makes chemicals along Interstate 10 just west of Lake Charles, La., which was hard-hit when the storm slammed into the Gulf Coast early Thursday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the fire was burning Thursday morning just outside the city and advised storm survivors to shelter in place. He tweeted to residents in the area: “Shelter in place, close your windows and doors and TURN OFF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING UNITS.”
Police say the chlorine leak is at the BioLab chemical manufacturing facility in Westlake. Authorities say they’re working with plant managers to try and contain the leak.
Images of the fire showed a massive stream of smoke billowing over Lake Charles on Thursday morning.
BioLab’s Lake Charles plant was built in 1979 and manufactures trichloroisocyanuric acid, chlorinating granules and other chemicals used in such household cleaners as Comet bleach scrub and pool chlorine powder.
SOURCE: CBS NEWS