One Dead, Three Injured in Explosion at Omega Protein

Reported by: Ryan Mahan
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Updated: 7/28/2014 7:27 pm
One person died and three others were injured in an explosion at a fish processing plant in Moss Point Monday morning. A storage tank at Omega Protein exploded around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning.

The morning started just as any other at Omega Protein in Moss Point, but around 9:30 a.m., things took a tragic turn for the worse as an explosion rocked the plant. Witnesses describe the scene as mass confusion. Major Jackson, an eyewitness, says, “Well, the one was, the first one I saw was lying down on the catwalk. He had fallen through the top of the roof.”

Officials responded to the scene quickly, and although a preliminary investigation is forthcoming, city officials were able to make a statement. Moss Point Fire Chief, Tommy Posey, says, “One huge fish oil holding tank had exploded. At this time, contractors had been in there doing some repair work. At this time we have one fatality and three injured.”

Jerry Lee Taylor II of Alabama has been identified as the worker who died, but in the initial aftermath of the explosion, his whereabouts were not immediately known. Jackson also says, “They was running around saying somebody was missing. Then after a while, maybe four or five minutes, they found this man. He was on top of one of the tanks.”

With so many unanswered questions, how do investigators and Omega Protein proceed from here? Posey also says, “Right now, the plant has closed, all the employees have been let loose to go home, so pending O.S.H.A. and our investigation this afternoon, we should know more.”

As for employees and friends of the victim, they are still in shock and will live with the memories of this day for a very long time. Jackson closes, “People gathered around and one dude asked me if I could get some wet, cold towels, so I went and got some cold water, some cold towels and brought it to him.”

News 25 spoke to the fire chief earlier Monday, who said the cause of the explosion is not yet known and they are expecting O.S.H.A. to begin an investigation Tuesday.

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