NORCO, La. - An explosion and subsequent fire at the Diamond Green Diesel facility on the Valero campus in Norco rocked homes and shook residents Sunday night.
Concerned residents flooded the Eyewitness News newsroom with calls and some viewers sent in photos and video.
Ron Perry of the St. Charles Office of Emergency Preparedness said there were no injuries and no need for emergency procedures to take place on site. He said that no one in the surrounding area was being evacuated.
Officials at the plant allowed the fire to burn itself out, which it had done by midnight.
Early Monday morning, a company spokesperson issued a statement.
'At approximately 9:35 pm there was a fire at Diamond Green Diesel. Emergency response (ERT) members provided an immediate response. All personnel have been accounted for and there are no reported injuries. There is a no impact to the community. The source of the fire has been isolated, contained and extinguished. The incident is under control. We are working with local and state agencies. The safety of our employees and community, as well as the protection of our environment is of the utmost importance. DGD is a safety and environmental leader.'
Perry said there was no word on what caused the explosion.
Perry confirmed that he felt the shocks from the apparent explosion and residents said that homes shook in the area and as far away as Kenner. One eyewitness sent in a video that appeared to show gray smoke coming from an area near a plant.
The plant makes 'renewable energy' from animal fat and other products. The unit which experienced the explosion and fire was shut down Monday morning.