Two men are still missing presumed dead and seven were injured- five of them critically - after a massive explosion yesterday (August 14) in a chemical plant in lodi, New Jersey.
Two men are still missing presumed dead and seven were injured- five of them critically - after a massive explosion yesterday (August 14) in a chemical plant in lodi, New Jersey. The fire raged for four hours at the Washmire Chemical Corporation Building and damage is estimated at up to two million dollars (about GBP 800,000). Fearing further blasts, police cordoned off most of the town of Lodi (population: 30,000) until the blaze died down.
The plant employs around 150 workers and experienced a similar explosion two years ago.
SYNOPSIS: In the small New Jersey town of Lodi, near New York City, on Tuesday, a chemical plant explosion sent flames leaping into the air. Two men are unaccounted for and seven were injured - five of them critically - in the blaze which erupted at the Washmire Chemical Corporation Building. The flames rose fifteen hundred feet (500 metres) into the air and were visible for miles.
Firemen laboured for four hours to contain and suppress the massive conflagration. It broke out in the rear of the plant, which manufactures food and industrial chemicals, including methanol and ammonia, while the shifts were changing in the morning. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but Washmire had a similar explosion in 1971. Nearly a hundred and fifty workers are involved in chemical production. The two men who are missing are assumed to be dead.
Besides spraying the plant, firemen also hosed down nearby buildings and railway chemical cars in the area.
Fearing further explosions, police cordoned off most of Lodi, a town of thirty thousand inhabitants, until the fire had been conquered. An early assessment puts damage from the fire at around two million dollars.