An early morning explosion happened in Neodesha, KS a little after 6 AM. The plant is located on 1200 block of Illinois Street. The company packages aerosols and liquid products. Below are updates as they come in. The most recent update will be at the top.
Statement From Airosol:
Airosol is grateful for the efforts of all the area fire crews, EMS, police departments, and everyone who responded to this incident. Their amazing actions kept the fire from becoming a threat to our town. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity we have experienced from our community.
We only had one injured employee and all the other employees made it out safely. At this time, our injured employee is responding well to treatment. We are committed to our employees and our community and look to recover as quickly as possible.
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Wilson County Emergency Management (9:15 AM, 11/23/16):
The fire at Airosol Industries is contained, but still burning. Damage to some buildings has made it unsafe for firefighters to enter, and the fire is being allowed to burn itself out in those areas. As the fire burns, small aerosol cans in storage continue to explode, but these do not cause a hazard for residents. The bulk chemical storage is not threatened at this time, and firefighters continue to closely monitor these areas. Air quality is also being actively monitored by CTEH (Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, LLC), and at this time, tests show elevated particulates as typically found in smoke, but chemical levels in the air are not elevated. Because of the particulates in the smoke, people who have asthma or respiratory problems should avoid any areas of smoke as a normal precaution.
Evacuation orders have been lifted and all residents have been allowed to return to their homes because of the huge amount of water used to keep the fire from reaching the storage tanks yesterday, there has been some run off of chemical residue into Fall River, adding to the problem of low water pressure which had already caused the water plant to be shut down. Water samples are being tested by a professional laboratory, and Kansas Department of Health and Environment will recommend additional action depending on the results. A Do Not Use order remains in effect for the City of Neodesha and the Rural Water Districts served by the Neodesha Water Plant: RWD 3, 4, 6, & 12. Regardless of the results of the water tests, it will likely be at least several days before water service can be restored to Neodesha. It will take time for the water storage tanks to be filled and pressure restored. Drinking water is available at Neodesha City Hall for affected residents.
OSHA Statement (1:57 PM):
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation after receiving a report of an explosion that resulted in one employee of Airosol Company Incorporated being hospitalized and the workplace evacuated, today Nov. 22, 2016. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation. The 57-year-old male employee was transported to a Wichita hospital with burn injuries.
Based in Neodesha, Airosol Company Incorporated is a manufacturer of aerosols and liquid products. The company manufacturers over 100 aerosol, liquid, and specialty chemicals for a variety of industries.
OSHA will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if any violations of OSHA safety and health standards contributed to the incident. For information on the OSHA inspection process see: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/factsheet-inspections.pdf.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or the agency’s Wichita Area Office at 316-269-6644.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Update 12:45 PM: Officials want to clarify: a "do not use" order is in effect, not just a boil order. Neodesha residents encouraged to only use for flushing as city water is being used to combat the fire, the water pressure could drop low enough that "things" could grow. DO NOT USE NEODESHA WATER. Only to be used for flushing.
Possible trajectory of the plume across Neodesha from the Aerosol explosion & fire in Neodesha, KS pic.twitter.com/rIhZ6e6tpY— Trooper Rick (@TrooperrickKHP) November 22, 2016
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Wilson County Emergency Mgmt confirms an injury to one Airosol employee who has now been transferred to Wichita for care.
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School is cancelled in Neodesha and they are evacuating residents in the immediate area.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas