Details are emerging concerning what ADA Carbon Solutions termed “an incident” at the ADA plant at Armistead. Various media and other sources report that an explosion occurred and at least two people were burned/injured.
Here is what The Journal has learned. It happened Thursday afternoon at the plant and there was an explosion and perhaps fire in the area at the top of the plant. This is where a conveyor belt moves coal from the ground to the top. Two employees received burns and were treated on the scene by Red River EMS. Then they were transported on two helicopters to University Health in Shreveport.
Identities and medical condition of the two is not available Friday morning. The Journal asked Dennis Sewell, the V-P of Manufacturing for the ADA plant about injury to workers. Sewell said, “A small number were affected.” He declined to elaborate on how many or the extent of their injuries.
Red River Fire Department and Red River Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. Sheriff Glen Edwards confirmed to The Journal and other media that a fire had occurred and workers had been injured. Edwards said their job was to secure the site and facilitate firefighters and EMS getting in and out.
The Acting Fire Chief, Jeremy Neal told The Journal they are under contract with ADA and are not able to release any information. Neal referred The Journal to a company spokesperson, Tim Watley. When we called the plant, a machine answered and we did not find Watley listed among company employees. Later Thursday evening Dennis Sewell called returning messages the Journal had left. Neal did confirm that none of the firefighters suffered injury while they worked at the plant.
The Journal Asked Sewell if there had been a fire. Sewell would only say, “There was an incident in the plant. We received assistance from the local fire department. It is under control. The fire department helped mitigate that.”
Sewell told The Journal that they are investigating the incident, so he could make no further comment. It is not known if the State Fire Marshall has been called in to make their own investigation.
In the photo with this article, fire units can be seen in the lower left portion of the picture.