Three Webster Parish men in critical condition following explosion

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Three Webster Parish men are in critical condition at Ochsner LSU Health Center in Shreveport following an explosion at a propane gas location south of Cotton Valley Monday morning.

Daniel Payne of Minden suffered second degree burns.

Preliminary assessment reports Payne is burned over 40 percent of his body, with second degree burns on back, shoulders and face. However, at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Payne was breathing on his own and talking.

He was to be moved to the burn unit later in the day for full assessment. 

The other two men were airlifted to the same hospital.

Reagan Hardaway of Shongaloo, son-in-law of former Webster Parish Sheriff’s chief deputy Bobby Igo and wife Annette, is in extremely critical condition.

“He is not good,” Igo said around 7 p.m. Monday. “He is burned over more than 65 percent from head, neck and arms. He is on a vent now. The next 24 hours are critical.”

The other man, Chancey Hawk of Minden, is also in critical condition. No other information is available on him at the time of publication.

According to Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker, the explosion and fire happened around 11:30 a.m. Monday. It occurred at an Aeropres location off Old Highway 7.

“Louisiana State Police hazmat is at the site now,” Parker said. “They will be handling the investigation as to the cause of the fire.”

Jonathan Odom, Public Information Officer for Troop G, said the location is a propane truck-loading facility.

“One of the trucks caught fire,” Odom said. “Propane is very volatile, and these incidents are becoming  far too common.”

There will be no evacuations, Odom added.

“They don’t believe there is any other danger to public safety,” he said.