The two employees were transported to the
The explosion happened at about
Martin said the explosion was minor and caused minimal damage, however, the cause of the explosion was unknown Thursday. The building where the explosion occurred houses an elevator that moves product upwards about 50 feet into a hopper where it is then moved into a bagging area. Martin said no items were in production at that moment, but the employees were cleaning the equipment from the last production. The equipment is cleaned after each product to prevent cross-contamination, he said.
The last product that went through the equipment before the explosion was a snake repellent containing sulfur. Martin said the product does not contain much sulfur, and that building only handles dry items and no flammable liquids. When the explosion occurred, Martin said, he didn't hear it. An employee outside saw a dust cloud and contacted Martin. The fire alarm was sounded and all employees were evacuated from the buildings.
Martin said the plant employs about 75 people and five to six people are typically in the vicinity of the area where the explosion occurred while items are in production. During the cleaning process, about three to four people would have been in that area, he said. No equipment appeared to be damaged inside the building, Martin said, but the exterior, made primarily out of plywood and shingles, did have visible damage. The sprinkler system was also damaged from the blast.
Nichols said the explosion was contained to the one building and did not pose any danger to the public. Because the sprinklers went off and were damaged, the system was shut down until repairs could be made. Firefighters stayed on scene until the system was restored, which was expected to be switched back on by Thursday afternoon.
This explosion occurred a month after a blast in the bulk tank storage facility punched a whole in the roof of a different building at the plant. The investigation into the first explosion by the
The first explosion occurred on
"It was not as extensive of an event as it was last time," Nichols said.
A hazardous material cleanup crew, who was contracted after the first explosion, was still on site when the latest blast occurred. Nichols said the crew assisted first responders after the blast.
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