Explosion kills one at Air Liquide gas plant in Texas

Air Liquide has confirmed the death of one worker and serious injury of another following a weekend explosion at its industrial gases plant in La Porte, Texas.

The explosion occurred close to 7:40 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to the company, whose US operations are headquartered in Houston. About 20 people were working at the facility on Saturday.

The facility houses a mixture of industrial gases, such as nitrogen and hydrogen, which are used to process food, beverages and electronics, according to the Air Liquide website.

The statement from the company is as follows:

"On Saturday, February 9, shortly before 8 a.m., a fire occurred at Air Liquide's specialty gas facility in La Porte, Texas," the company said. "Sadly, Air Liquide can now confirm that the employee who had initially been identified as missing has been found. His body was located at the scene shortly before 7:30 p.m.

"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the employee's family. Out of respect for the family's privacy, Air Liquide will not release the name of the deceased employee. Air Liquide counselors are in contact with the employee's family and co-workers.

"A second employee who was taken to UTMB remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"Air Liquide personnel responded immediately to the scene at the time of the incident and remain on scene. We continue to work collaboratively with the emergency personnel and local authorities at the site."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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