3 ‘severely burned’ in explosion in Webster Parish; victims identified

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 12:37 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 12:13 PM CDT
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COTTON VALLEY, La. (KSLA) - Three people were seriously injured in an explosion in Cotton Valley on Monday morning (May 9).

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker says the explosion happened around 11:30 a.m. at Aeropres Corp., located on Marathon Tank Road. Three people were severely burned, he says. They were flown to a burn center in Shreveport.

On Tuesday, May 10, the sheriff identified the victims as Reagan Hardaway, of Shongaloo, and Chancey Hawk and Daniel Payne, both of Minden. According to the sheriff, Hardaway sustained the most severe injuries and is in critical condition, with the next 24 hours crucial for him. Hawk was also seriously injured and is also listed in critical condition.

Our hearts are deeply saddened for the victims and families affected by the explosion in Cotton Valley this week. This...

Posted by Minden Medical Center on Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The sheriff says Payne sustained the least severe injuries, though was still burned on about 40% of his body, mostly on his shoulders, face and back. According to the sheriff, Payne is awake, alert and communicating, while the other two victims are not.

As far as how the explosion happened, the sheriff says the three men were loading propane onto a tanker truck at the time of the accident. It’s still unclear how exactly the explosion occurred though.

“We’re trying to lift the family up in prayers and help them out any way we can,” Sheriff Parker said.

Louisiana State Police’s haz-mat team is still investigating. Authorities say the scene is contained and there is no threat to the surrounding community.

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