Three contractors died and two others were injured on Thursday after an explosion and fire at a Williams Companies natural gas facility in Gibson, Louisiana.

Louisiana State Police confirmed three contractors were fatally injured and two others sustained serious injuries.

The 13 Williams employees stationed at the facility were not injured, the company said.

The facility was not operational at the time of the incident and gas was not flowing through the pipeline system.

The accident happened on Thursday morning as planned facility maintenance was being performed on a tank known as a “slug catcher,” a type of tank designed to separate liquids and impurities from the natural gas stream.

An initial assessment by company officials confirmed the natural gas pipeline did not rupture.

The building containing the compressor engines was not damaged by the fire.

Emergency officials said there is no danger to the surrounding community.

No environmental impact has been reported.

The accident has not disrupted service to customers.

The facility is owned by Williams Partners’ subsidiary Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company.

“We are deeply saddened by reports of serious injuries to personnel working at the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this very critical time,” Williams Operations Manager Warren Toups said.

Earlier this week, Williams Companies agreed to merge with Energy Transfer Equity in a deal worth $37.7 billion, including debt, after rejecting an unsolicited $53 billion offer in June.


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