Several people from Sulphur, Westlake, and Lake Charles reported hearing and feeling a large explosion around 10:15 PM Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

UPDATE: Officials and plant personnel have confirmed that what was heard was an unplanned decompression. No injuries occurred and officials indicated that there is no threat to the public. The event occurred at Westlake Chemical Corporation.

Original report:
Preliminary reports indicate that there was not an explosion, but a decompression at a local refinery. No injuries or releases were reported and all employees were accounted for at 10:30 PM.

Decompression or “decomp” occurs to protect people and equipment in the refinery and is not a normal occurrence. A decompression  may cause a loud “boom” and fireball in the sky because during the process, a gas is rapidly released into the atmosphere and may ignite.

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