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Briefs

2nd Louisiana explosion kills 1

– One person was killed and several others injured Friday in an explosion at a south Louisiana chemical plant, only miles from where another blast killed two plant workers the previous day, authorities said.

Louisiana State Police Trooper Jared Sandifer said five people were injured, three of them critically, and were taken to area hospitals following Friday evening’s explosion at a CF Industries facility in Donaldsonville. The identity of the person killed in the blast wasn’t immediately released.

Sandifer said the explosion didn’t pose a threat to the area surrounding the plant.

Sandifer said workers were pressurizing an unspecified “vessel” with nitrogen when the pressure built and caused the explosion.

CF Industries’ website says the plant can produce roughly 5 million tons of nitrogen for agricultural and industrial uses annually.

On Thursday, an explosion at chemical plant in Geismar owned by Williams Companies Inc. killed two workers and injured dozens of others. Donaldsonville and Geismar are both located in Ascension Parish and straddle the Mississippi River, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

This isn’t the first deadly blast at the company’s Donaldsonville plant. Three workers were killed and nine others were injured by an explosion and fire at the facility in May 2000.

Fort Hood shooter’s strategy denied

A uniformed Army psychiatrist had no justification for gunning down U.S. troops and won’t be allowed to tell jurors that he was protecting Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, a military judge ruled, appearing to clear the way for the murder trial to begin.

Maj. Nidal Hasan’s “defense of others” strategy fails as a matter of law, Col. Tara Osborn said during a 45-minute hearing. That strategy must show that a killing was necessary to prevent the immediate harm or death of others. Osborn said no soldiers at the Texas Army post on Nov. 5, 2009, posed an imminent threat to anyone in Afghanistan and that the legitimacy of the Afghanistan war is not an issue at Hasan’s court-martial.

Army Ranger dead after training jump

An Army Ranger was found dead on the ground with parachute cords wrapped around his neck after a routine training jump in southeast Georgia, and commanders hope an investigation will reveal what went wrong, a military spokesman said Friday.

The soldier’s parachute appeared to deploy normally during the jump and nothing seemed wrong until he landed and wind filled the parachute’s canopy, said Lt. Col. Brian DeSantis, a spokesman for the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning. He said by the time fellow Rangers reached the soldier, he was unconscious with parachute cords wrapped around his neck. Soldiers were unable to revive him.

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