Fuel tank explosion kills Louisiana man

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2020

TENSAS PARISH, La. — Louisiana State Fire Marshal deputies have concluded their investigation into the cause of a fuel tank explosion that claimed the life of a dispensing truck operator Tuesday.

Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Tensas Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 responded to a report of an explosion located on a property off of Hogue Road in Newellton. Firefighters arrived to find a fuel tank had exploded, killing the operator and catching fire to a passenger truck as well as nearby machinery.

While official identification is pending an autopsy by the Tensas Parish Coroner’s Office, the victim is reported to be a 56-year-old man from Newellton.

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Following an assessment of the scene, including reviewing surveillance video, deputies determined the explosion occurred as the victim was fueling a tank that was being used to operate construction equipment needed for a road project on the property. While the official cause of this fire remains undetermined at this time, investigators are unable to rule out a static electricity ignition of the fuel being dispensed.