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Kinder Morgan explosion

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“We’re used to booms because of the trains, but that was extremely loud,” says Harvey resident Dorothy Pipher.

“That was a really big boom because it shook the house real bad,” says Robert Pipher, “The smoke, it was like about a mile in the air. It was pretty intense.”

Robert and Dorothy Pipher live a few blocks from the Kinder Morgan facility off Destrehan and 4th in Harvey. Late Tuesday morning they say what sounded like several explosions rattled their home.

“The first was the biggest. It’s the one that shook the whole house and the last six were just boom, boom, boom,” says Robert Pipher.

A company spokesman says a fire erupted as ethanol was being loaded in a truck.  The charred tanker is now under investigation.

Authorities say the driver was the only one injured.

He was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

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WGNO News has learned of an explosion, or possibly series of explosions, at the Kinder Morgan petro-chemical plant, located on the Harvey Canal and 4th Street on the West Bank.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and emergency personnel are on the scene.

Dorothy Pipher, who lives at 418 3rd  St., just a few blocks from the plant, told WGNO that she and her husband, Robert, heard a “boom” at 11:30 this morning.   Robert Pipher rushed outside and saw “a ball of fire,” and then heard “six more explosions.”

An hour later (as of 12:30 pm), Dorothy told WGNO that her neighborhood appears to be “normal,” except for a hazardous materials team in the area.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is advising drivers in the area to be careful.  Traffic may still be blocked at Barataria and 4th Street.

Kinder Morgan has not released any information.

Listen to an eyewitness account here: