Cause of Enterprise Gas Plant explosion still a mystery

Investigation into Enterprise gas plant explosion underway

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The flames are out, but as of Tuesday evening the cause of the massive explosion at Enterprise Gas Plant Monday night remains a mystery.

"We are in the process of letting the hydrocarbons bleed off now, and as soon as they do we will be able to get in and start our investigation," said Enterprise Products Regional Director Mike Spinks.

Fire crews were at the Enterprise Gas Plant until early Tuesday evening, hours after the initial blast that occurred around 11:30 Monday night.

"We had an explosion and a resulting fire which resulted in a gas release and our ESD systems, emergency shut down systems all responded exactly as they're suppose to," said Spinks.

Which was apparent when the two onsite workers, a man and a woman, escaped the massive blaze uninjured. They were protected by buildings made for just such emergencies.

"These are called BRMs, blast resistant modules, and that's what they operate out of," said Spinks.

Now, the challenge is determining what went wrong.

"We have a process that we'll go through soon as it's determined safe... which it has not yet... to enter that area," Spinks said.

As far as how long until the investigation can start, it could be days. And it will most likely involve multiple agencies.

"We have not heard from OSHA. I've heard from chemical safety board, that's a federal agency that regulates chemical plants. They had several questions and will be doing an investigation," said Jackson County Emergency Services Director Earl Etheridge.

For the time being, Enterprise will have to play the waiting game until they get the all clear.

"We're just going to develop our plan as soon as we can feel it's safe to get in and then we'll evaluate. And then we'll begin the process of ensuring it's safe to go in for our people and begin the process of rebuilding," said Spinks.

Etheridge said they haven't seen anything that would indicate an environmental hazard at the natural gas plant.

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