Blast at Eastman Chemical Process Unit

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 @ 02:06 PM gHale

The incident at Eastman Chemical that caused a shelter in place order for Jefferson Borough, PA, was the result of an explosion at a processing unit, officials said.

An explosion and fire ended up reported shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Eastman Chemical Resins in Jefferson Hills, PA, said a spokesman for Allegheny County emergency dispatch. Because of the unstable nature of chemicals, he said a shelter-in-place order ended up issued for neighboring Elizabeth Borough. However, officials lifted it after they tested and decided air quality was acceptable and there was no danger to residents.

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The fire ended up extinguished about two hours after it began. There were no injuries.

A spokesperson from Eastman Chemical confirmed a small explosion and fire started in one of manufacturing plant’s process units.

The West Jefferson site of Eastman Chemical produces hydrocarbon resins and dispersions used in adhesives, rubber and plastic compounding, coatings, sealants, and plastic sealants, such as the sticky agent in tape.

The company said they “do not anticipate any adverse offsite impacts.”

The shelter in place order for Elizabeth Borough that asked residents to stay in their home lifted around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

All residents were then able to resume normal activities. The spokesperson from the company confirmed they are evaluating the situation to “determine the cause and extent of the damage.” There is currently no word on what caused the explosions.