On Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at approximately 11:30 p.m., an explosion inside an ExxonMobil refinery turned the Baton Rouge, Louisiana night sky a shade of orange and sent a large plume of smoke into the air. The fire burned until approximately 6:40 a.m. The refinery is located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in North Baton Rouge.
The glow from the fire could be seen for miles. Investigators do not know what caused the fire.
As of this report, no injuries have been reported on or offsite. Crews continue to monitor the air quality situation in Baton Rouge.
Christmas Eve Plant Explosion of 1989
Some residents of Baton Rouge recall the 1989 Christmas Eve refinery plant explosion that blew out windows at the state capitol and throughout downtown Baton Rouge. According to reports, the explosion could be felt some 40 miles away and seen from even further. Baton Rouge experienced a cold snap that week. It is believed the extreme cold (around eight degrees Fahrenheit) caused pressure to build inside storage tanks, causing a gas leak to form. The gas released from the storage tanks ignited. The explosion killed two workers and injured four others.
ExxonMobil is the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana. The Baton Rouge refinery is the fifth largest in the nation. The facility produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and more. At the chemical plant, products produced include paint, adhesives, plastic milk jugs, and other everyday items.
Our top-rated refinery fire lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard will continue to monitor the situation in Baton Rouge following the ExxonMobil refinery fire.