Asphalt Plant Blast Hurts 3

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @ 01:10 PM gHale

A faulty valve on a holding tank connected to a big rig sparked a series of explosions at an asphalt plant sending three workers to the hospital Monday.

Two of the three workers suffered burns from a normally routine job at the Glenville, NY, facility.

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“I believe they were doing something with a valve of the tanker and it created a spark and that’s what started the fire,” said Thomas Corners Fire Chief Gregg Petricca. “They were off-loading a kerosene-diesel-fuel-tar mix. Basically, it’s tar cut with kerosene.”

He said county fire investigators were trying to pinpoint the exact cause of the explosion at Mohawk Asphalt Emulsion that occurred at 1:10 p.m.

Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions, owned by the Gorman Group in Albany, did not immediately return seeking comment.

The busy stretch of Freemans Bridge Road from Erie Boulevard and Maxon Road Extension to Sunnyside Road was shut down to cars for a time.

The road served as a landing pad for a medical helicopter that authorities say transported

One burn victim ended up transported by helicopter downstate to Westchester Medical Center. Another went by ambulance to Albany Medical Center Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.

The third injured worker, Brian Jones, reached by phone Monday, said his injuries were minor.

Petricca said the Schenectady County HazMat team conducted air samples that came back clean and the state Department of Environmental Conservation said all runoff ended up contained to the plant with no environmental impact to the nearby Mohawk River or surrounding areas.