On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, an explosion occurred at the Packaging Corporation of America Plant in DeRidder, Louisiana, killing three and injuring seven more. The three men that were killed were Jody Gooch, age 40, of Newton; William Rolls, age 32, of Reeves, Louisiana and Sedrick Stallworth, age 42, of Houston. The names of the seven injured have not been released, however it is being reported that six were treated and released and only one remains hospitalized. The Louisiana State Police reported that the explosion involved a 25 foot tank in the pulp mill plant section of the PCA Plant. PCA has released a statement that says, “The incident involved annual repair work being performed on piping in the pulp mill area. At the time of the incident, the D1 machine was down for its annual outage and the D3 machine was running and continues to operate.”
Jody Gooch of Newton was a NHS graduate and a hometown guy. He was the father of one son, and had just begun his job at PCA on Monday. Services for Gooch were held over the weekend. He will be greatly missed by all the knew and loved him.
The explosion is under investigation by the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Department, Louisiana State Police and OSHA.