Carrollton Water Plant Explosion Injures 3 in New Orleans
A turbine explosion at a Sewerage & Water Board plant in the Carrollton section of New Orleans, Louisiana, left three workers injured Saturday afternoon.
Carrollton Water Plant Explosion Damaged Several Homes
The December 14th explosion erupted shortly after 2:00 p.m. at the Sewerage & Water Board facility along South Claiborne Avenue. The powerful blast was heard across Carrollton and damaged houses on Monroe, the residential street closest to the plant, including several that lost windows to the blast.
“The lights went off, the building shook, the wall started cracking and moving, buckling in,” one homeowner told WVUE TV. “Cracks here, cracks on the ceiling. It just started cracking up.”
According to the Times-Picayune, the explosion was also felt as far away as Uptown and Old Metairie.
2 Sewerage and Water Board Workers Taken to Hospital
A dozen Sewerage & Water Board employees were on site when the turbine exploded.
Paramedics transferred two workers to University Medical Center. While authorities have not commented on the nature of their injuries, both had left the hospital by Saturday night.
A third employee reportedly declined treatment at the scene.
Turbine No. 5 was 61-Years-Old, Recently Returned to Service
So far, it’s not clear what caused Saturday’s “significant” explosion.
According to the Sewerage & Water Board, the blast apparently involved Turbine No. 5, one of six turbines used to generate power for New Orleans’ drainage system. The 61-year-old natural gas apparatus only returned to service in March 2018, following a year of repairs and maintenance.
Just before the blast, safeguards for Turbine No. 4 identified an issue with its compressor. The explosion occurred when workers attempted to manually turn on Turbine No. 5.
Unfortunately, New Orleans’ drainage system lacks redundancy to deal with the resulting loss of power, so the Sewerage & Water Board is relying on Entergy to supply enough power to handle the rain forecasted for today.
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