Firefighting crews now in La. chemical plant

Associated Press
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)
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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) — State police say fire is under control at a south Louisiana chemical plant and hazardous materials crews are spraying hot spots.

Trooper Stephen Hammons says that after all fire is out, investigators can go into the Multi-Chem Corp. plant to begin searching for a cause. He says businesses and homes within a mile probably will remain evacuated at least through the night.

Nobody was hurt in the explosion and fire Tuesday afternoon.

State Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Jean Kelly says chemicals at the site include xylene, toluene and methanol. All three can pose health risks.

However, the corporation and DEQ say air quality measurements in the evacuation area were at safe levels Wednesday and air monitoring is continuing.

Chemicals for oil fields are blended and stored at the plant.

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