Dead identified; State, federal officials look into blast

February 9, 2017 GMT

DERIDDER, La. (AP) — Authorities have identified the three workers who died in an explosion at the Packaging Corporation of America plant in DeRidder.

The Beauregard Daily news reports that the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office identified those killed as 33-year-old William Rolls, Jr.; 42-year-old Sedrick Stallworth; and 41-year-old Jody Gooch.

Seven others were hurt in Wednesday’s blast. Authorities described six injuries as minor and one as moderate.

Louisiana State Police Sgt. James Anderson said welding had been going on near a tank that exploded.

The Lake Forest, Illinois-based PCA has not logged any violations at the Louisiana plant since acquiring it in 2013.

PCA has received repeated fines in recent years at other U.S. facilities, including a Wisconsin facility where two workers were killed in 2012 and three others died in a 2008 explosion.


Louisiana State Police, OSHA officials and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office are investigating the explosion that took place in the DeRidder plant.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said in an online news release Thursday that it has sent a three-person investigation team to the site of the explosion.

DeRidder’s PCA plant has more than 700 workers making corrugated container boards.


Information from: Beauregard Daily News,