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Air Quality Concerns Surface After South Louisiana Explosions

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NBC33-TV, via WWL-TV

The sight of smoke billowing over three separate explosions in south Louisiana within a week may have caused some concern about air quality. Officials are confident that there was no health danger. Others aren’t so sure.

First there was last Thursday’s explosion at a chemical plant in Geismar. Two people were killed and dozens hurt.

The next day there was a blast at a chemical plant in Donaldsonville. One person was killed.

And Tuesday morning a gas line erupted near Franklinton, leaving a crater and leveling hundreds of feet of trees. No one was hurt.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said testing after the Geismar blast showed no health risk was evident, but environmental activists with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade went door to door.

They surveyed 67 people — 24 reported health problems after the explosion.

The DEQ says anyone feeling ill should see a doctor who could document the cause.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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