Houma Times Article Highlights Delayed Response Following Williams Gibson Explosion
A “take-over” by Louisiana State Police hazardous materials technicians of the blast site at the Williams natural gas plant in Gibson led to a delayed rescue response in the critical moments following the October 8th explosion that ultimately killed 4 men and injured at least 3 others, according to John DeSantis of the Houma Times.
Despite the fact that the firefighters had already established a rescue plan and were about to enter the “hot zone” within just 45 minutes of their arrival, state troopers showed up and–citing their legal right to take command of any hazardous materials incident–ordered the responders to stand down while they reviewed the plan and made adjustments.
This delay, according to some estimates, added over an hour to the time it took for firefighters to finally attempt a rescue of Michael Hill, 56, as he lay at the blast site fighting to survive.
Once allowed in, firefighters rushed to pull Mr. Hill from the shattered site and get him to the hospital.
Despite all of their efforts, Mr. Hill passed away 4 days later due to the extent of the injuries he suffered.
While the cause of the blast remains under investigation by multiple agencies, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Division (PHMSA), all evidence to date points to Williams.