Minden native survives Geismar plant blast - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Minden native survives Geismar plant blast

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Minden native Mike Milligan was 300 feet away from the room where the plant explosion happened. Minden native Mike Milligan was 300 feet away from the room where the plant explosion happened.
MINDEN, LA (KSLA) -

A Thursday morning explosion at the Williams Olefins Facility in Geismar, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, injured 77 and killed 2 people.

Minden native Mike Milligan was 300 feet away from the room where the plant explosion happened. "I told everyone to run and we tore out running and the heat on my back, on the back of my neck, it was unreal, it was so hot," said Milligan.

Meanwhile back in Minden, Mike's wife Laura was watching video of the plant on fire in horror on the news, not knowing if her husband was ok. Laura called her son Jeff McBride, "The first thing she said was, Mike's plant exploded," said McBride and while his family was left wondering, Milligan made it out of the building, with only a heat rash on his back and neck. "I couldn't even look back, I thought the fire was going to catch me," said Milligan. As the only supervisor around, Milligan was in charge of managing the chaotic scene full of panicked people. "People were all around me, scared about people in the plant," he said.

After calling emergency crews and evacuating everyone to a safe distance, Milligan called his family, step son Jeff McBride was glad to hear that he was safe. "I think when he called he was out of breath, upset from running, seeing people get injured, couldn't even make sense of it at the time, none of us could," said McBride.

Milligan had a sleepless night,  having a hard time digesting what happened. Scott Thrower, one of two killed, was someone he saw every morning and several others he worked with were seriously hurt.  "Everybody needs to pray for those lost and those still recovering in the hospitals," said Milligan, still he adds, there is a silver lining, when the explosion happened everybody was on break. Had it happened 10 minutes earlier, he says it could have been a whole lot worse.  

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