SULPHUR, La. – 6 people were injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in Southwest Louisiana on Wednesday.

“CHEMICAL PLANT EXPLOSION: Six people are injured after an explosion at the Westlake Chemical Plant in Louisiana. The company says a fire occurred near a storage tank that had been taken out of service”, CBS news Tweeted.

According to the information received from Westlake Chemical South, the explosion has occurred before 11:00 am in an “empty ethylene dichloride storage tank” at the old PPG plant.

Out of the 6 injured, one was immediately treated on the spot. Three were driven to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. The remaining two were transferred to Oschner Christus St. Patrick Hospital, told Joe Andrepont, the plant representative to The American Press.

Since the dichloride storage tank was empty, the blaze extinguished after the deadly explosion. The nearby residents and workers witnessed a large cloud of smoke in the area and many posted videos and pictures of the scene on their social media.

Shelter-in-place orders from the authorities were lifted after the explosion as no associated environmental dangers had been encountered, said Andrepont.

 “It’s too early to tell what caused the explosion, which is under investigation”, told Andrepont. “Calcasieu Office of Emergency Preparedness, Louisiana State Police, and Coast Guard were notified of the incident”, he added.

Ethylene dichloride is a synthetic chemical as its reserves are not found naturally. It is commonly used in the making of vinyl chloride, says the National Library of Health website.

Vinyl chloride is then used to make vinyl products, plastics, wall coverings, automobile upholstery, etc.

The EPA categorizes it as a “probable human carcinogen.”

The media also reported that school teachers in Westlake and Sulphur had also witnessed their building shake when the explosion happened.