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Dozens Hurt In Explosion At Chemical Plant Near Baton Rouge

An explosion reportedly touched off a fire at a Louisiana petrochemical plant, injuring at least 30 people, officials say.

The Associated Press quoted Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly as saying helicopters had taken three or four people from the plant and ground ambulances took another 30. She did not provide details.

The fire started Thursday morning at The Williams Companies factory in Geismar, about 20 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain says.

The plant can produce 1.35 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene a year, according to the company's website. Both ethylene and propylene are intermediates used to produce other chemical and plastic products.

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