NBC33-TV, via WWL-TV

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Louisiana State Police and other officials say a reported explosion touched off a fire at the Williams olefins petrochemical plant in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar Thursday morning. One fatality has been confirmed, and 73 people have been transported from the site with injuries.

UPDATED 9:22 p.m. CST:

The injured count is up to 77  and a 29-year-old man is dead after a chemical explosion in Geismar, La. Thursday. 

300 people were evacuated from the Williams Olefins plant, which produces over a billion pounds of propylene and ethylene a year for use in the production of other chemical and plastic products. It was propylene that caught fire after the explosion. Ten workers stayed behind to monitor a burn-off.

This article has been updated.

A natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico, located approximately 50 miles east of Venice, is releasing gas uncontrolled and has been partially evacuated, according to the well's operator and a report today in Fuel Fix, an energy news website operated in part by the Houston Chronicle.

President Barack Obama touched on the oil and gas industry in his State of the Union. Some of these initiatives may benefit Louisiana’s economy.

First, the President suggested loosening regulation. “My administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits,” Obama said. “That’s got to be a part of an all-of-the-above plan.”

On Tuesday, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved an adjusted route for the Keystone XL Pipeline that avoids that state’s fragile Sand Hills. Soon after, 53 senators – including both from Louisiana – wrote a letter to President Obama supporting the project.

G2X Energy Inc. of Houston says it plans a $1.3 billion plant to turn natural gas into gasoline at the Port of Lake Charles.

Louisiana Economic Development said Tuesday it would create 243 jobs averaging $66,500 a year.

They say G2X will lease 200 acres at the Industrial Canal where it can ship gas by pipeline or sea. However, a final decision is waiting on more feasibility analysis.

Omega Natchiq Inc. expects to complete construction of a bigger fabrication facility during February.

Officials of the New Iberia-based oilfield service company tell the Daily Iberian the facility is being built at a cost of about $5 million.

Company President Gary Buchanan says the facility will allow the company to move all of its subsea deepwater fabrication projects — now handled outdoors — into a more protected environment.

Moody-Price LLC, a Baton Rouge equipment and supplies distributor, has acquired Guico Specialty Co., a Lafayette firm that sells high-pressure industrial equipment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Danny Daniel Jr., Moody-Price president and chief operating officer, tells The Advocate ( Guico's customers are mainly deepwater, oil and gas companies, with some in the chemical industry.

Moody-Price expects the deal to increase sales of Parker Autoclave Engineers products.

The National Weather Service says an industrial plant in Iberville Parish may have been damaged by a tornado as heavy storms moved through the area Thursday morning.

No injuries were reported.

Iberville Parish Emergency Preparedness officials say the SNF Flopam plant about a mile south of Plaquemine reported roof damage around 7:30 a.m. The plant makes water-soluble polymers.

In Breaux Bridge, St. Martin Parish authorities said high wind tipped over a trailer, but the occupant was not injured.

Textron Marine & Land Systems' offices will remain in Slidell for at least another year.

The Textron Inc. division said Wednesday that it has a lease extension through May 31, 2014, with two one-year options, pending approval by the Slidell City Council. The current lease ends in May.

The division makes and supports military vehicles, ships and boats. It has leased offices from Slidell since 2007. Its factory is in eastern New Orleans; it has an assembly plant and a warehouse in Slidell.

Terms of the extension were not disclosed in the company's news release.