GEISMAR, LA — Kerry Pitre could hardly speak when discussing family friend Zachary Green, the 29-year-old man killed in Thursday’s plant explosion.
“He was a family friend. I’ve known him since he was a baby,” he said. “I photographed his wedding because I’m a professional photographer and I’ve known him all his life.”
All he could add before emotions took over was that Green was an exceptional, wonderful man.
Green was the only person killed from an explosion that injured 77 others. Although he worked at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar, his home is in Hammond.
“Green was an operator at the plant. He started work at Williams last October. Zack will be deeply missed by his friends at the Geismar plant and throughout Williams,” Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer for Williams, said. “We are grieving for the loss of Zack who was part of our Williams community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of sorrow. We also remain deeply concerned about Williams’ personnel and contractors who sustained injuries, some quite serious. We are extremely appreciative of the prompt and efficient actions by local and state law enforcement and emergency responders for their assistance in this difficult time. We are focusing all necessary resources on assisting those impacted and determining the cause of the explosion.”
The explosion happened shortly after 8:30 a.m. Witnesses inside the plant told NBC33 News they heard two explosions, and then saw a fireball that went as high as 300 feet in the air. They say the force was so strong it shook neighboring plants.
Our hearts go out to the Green family and all of the friends like Kerry who are suffering from this loss.
Free counseling or support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, people can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.