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Controlled burn conducted at Praxair site


St. Louis, MO – A controlled burn took place Wednesday afternoon at Praxair's plant in south St. Louis.

The plant was the site of a massive fire last June that sent gas cylinders shooting into the residential neighborhood surrounding the plant. The facility has been closed since then as Praxair looks for a new site in the city.

Spokesman Nigel Muir says seven cylinders that were damaged remain but were too unstable to remove. "They're not in appropriate condition to be transported with the gas in them, so we are for safety purposes burning off the gases," Muir said Wednesday.

The fire department was on hand, as well. "The burn is really not much more dramatic than lighting a propane bar-b-que at home, but we certainly wanted to take every precaution," added Muir.

Some of the cylinders contain propane and others, propylene.

Praxair is looking for another location in St. Louis following last year's fire. Muir says the company has pared it down to two sites.