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One person killed in second plant incident in two days in Louisiana parish

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The CF Industries plant in Donaldsonville, La., is just 30 miles south of Geismar, where a chemical plant explosion killed two people Thursday, June 13.

A container ruptured at a Louisiana nitrogen plant Friday night, killing one person and injuring at least seven others, the company said — just a day after an explosion at a chemical plant killed two people in the same parish.

Louisiana State Police told NBC News that three of the injured were in critical condition.

The plant's owner, CF Industries of Deerfield, Ill., said the incident occurred about 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) at its facility in Donaldsonville, roughly halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. "There was no fire or chemical release nor is there any threat or hazard posed to the community," it said.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley and plant manager Lou Frey said at a news conference Friday night that the rupture — which initially was reported as an explosion — was caused by workers who overpressurized a nitrogen vessel they were filling from a truck at CF Industries in Donaldsonville.

"There was no explosion, no fire," Frey said.

Wiley said it was "like a balloon popping."


Federal records show that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined CF Industries, one of the world's biggest nitrogen fertilizer producers, about $150,000 for safety and health violations after a fire and explosion killed three people at the Donaldsonville plant in 2000. It cited 12 violations posing "substantial probability" of serious injury or death. 

The blast Friday occurred just a day after an explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar, just 30 miles north of Donaldsonville, killed two people and injured more than 70 others. State Police confirmed the second death Friday.

"The irony of back-to-back incidents has not escaped us," Wiley, said. "We express our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and injured."

Azhar Fateh of NBC News contributed to this report.

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