Louisiana: Blast at Patoutville sugar mill injures 3 workers

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Louisiana: Blast at Patoutville sugar mill injures 3 workers


Acadiana bureau

PATOUTVILLE -- A piece of machinery exploded at the Patoutville Sugar Mill injuring three sugar mill workers Monday morning, Iberia Parish Sheriff Sid Hebert said.

Monday was the first day of production at the mill. The sugarcane harvest has just begun, Hebert said.

The two men were working near a tank that operates in the mill's boiler system. Sugar mills operate on steam power.

The tank that exploded separates steam from the water and operates under high pressure, Hebert said.

About 9:50 a.m., the tank exploded, spraying the men with hot liquid and sending shrapnel about 70 yards into the parking lot, Hebert said.

One worker, Martin Rodriguez, 19, suffered second- and third- degree burns to his lower body. He was taken to the Baton Rouge General Medical Center's burn unit, Hebert said.

Damion Derbigney, 22, was treated for minor burns at Iberia Medical Center, Hebert said. Opolonio Sanchez declined medical attention at the scene. He later went to a private physician.

Hebert said the damage to the mill was minimal.

The explosion did not shut down the mill.

Iberia Parish detectives and investigators from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the explosion, Hebert said.

"This was the first big grind," Hebert said. "Mills have lots of mechanical moving parts. This situation could have been a lot worse than it was."


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), September 26, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ