La. plant fire will be allowed to burn itself out

By the Associated Press | June 15, 2011 | 7:29 AM EDT

In this photo provided by Mary Clement, a fire burns after an explosion at Multi-Chem Corp. chemical plant in New Iberia, La. Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The fire forced residents to evacuate or hunker down Tuesday evening in their homes. Louisiana state police and Iberia Parish emergency management officials said no one was injured in the initial explosion around 4 p.m. CDT and several blasts that followed. (AP Photo/Mary Clement)

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A fire at a southern Louisiana plant where chemicals are blended and stored for oilfield operations is being allowed to burn itself out before investigators enter the facility to search for a cause.

Tuesday afternoon's explosion and fire at the Multi-Chem Corp. plant in New Iberia forced residents within a 1-mile radius of the area to evacuate.

Investigators say no one was injured and all 20 workers at the site are accounted for.

Officials weren't certain what kind of chemicals were on fire in the warehouse.

State police and Iberia Parish emergency management officials say the first blast was reported around 4 p.m., followed by several more explosions. The plant is near the Acadiana Regional Airport, which was shut down as a precaution.