Phillips 66 names Louisiana worker believed dead from pipeline explosion

Phillips 66 said employee Josh Helms is believed dead from a pipeline explosion last week in Louisiana.

Workers were conducting maintenance at Phillips 66 Paradis pipeline station southwest of New Orleans when an explosion at the natural gas liquids pipeline started a fire that continues to burn, but is now considered under control at a reduced size.

Two other workers were injured and one of them remains hospitalized. However, only Helms, of Thibodaux, La., is presumed dead. Helms had worked on pipelines for eight years, only joining Phillips 66 in November.

Once the fire is fully extinguished, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources will lead the investigation into whether protocols were followed and whether the employees were properly trained.

Houston-based Phillips 66 said ongoing air monitoring of the area indicates no health impacts to the surrounding community. An evacuation order was lifted last week after less than 24 hours.