Police officers at the entrance to the Petrotrin compound following the explosion at the Niquan plant

The fire which followed an early morning explosion at the recently opened Niquan Energy plant on the former Petrotrin compound has been extinguished.

An update from the Ministry of National Security stated that appliances from the Mon Repos Fire Station quickly brought the fire under control and are working closely with Niquan ground managers and officials from the plant.

There are no reported injuries at his time. An assessment will follow cooling procedures.

So far there are no reports of injuries or casualties following an explosion at around 6 .30 am at the hydrocracking tower unit. That is the tower that is used to burn off excess gas fuel.

Operators who were entering the plant to try to shut down operations said night shift workers were leaving the plant at the time of the explosion occurred and “so far” there were no reports of casualties.

Niquan officials said the plant had to be shut down before wax in the tower’s pipeline was removed. Only some operators were being allowed in to deal with the specific issue.

Energy Minister Franklin Khan and other Government officials are closely monitoring the situation.

Residents as far north as California and as far south as Oropouche were startled by the noise from the explosion.

A Battoo Avenue resident said: “Our bodies jerked with the impact of the explosion, it was so hard . . . whoever in the plant might have been thrown to the ground with the impact.”

Eyewitness video showed that the top of the tower blew off and huge columns of smoke were billowing from the tower.

Police have blocked off the Southern Main Road from the Pointe-a-Pierre Plaza to Marabella.

The Niquan plant was opened by Prime Minister Keith Rowley a month ago.