Explosives Plant Evacs after Fire

Friday, October 16, 2015 @ 04:10 PM gHale

Employees at the explosives plant Dyno Nobel in Carthage, MO, evacuated after an alarm sounded at about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday.

A small fire started in a building on the Dyno Nobel complex and a sprinkler system extinguished it, said Carthage Fire Chief Roger Williams.

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Plant officials can’t confirm there was a fire because they had not had a chance to get into the affected building as of late Tuesday night, said Nathan McDonald, human resources manager at Dyno Nobel.

McDonald said all employees evacuated when the alarms started sounding.

“I know we had a couple of production processes running, but I don’t have an exact number of employees,” McDonald said. “We have shut down all processes and all production until we can get to the root cause of what the incident really was. It’s still in the beginning stages of the investigation and we’re still trying to figure out exactly what triggered the alarm, what happened and how we move forward from here.”

Carthage firefighters got the call and then Duenweg and Oronogo tankers and firefighters came out as support.

Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers closed down roads in the area, including Gum Road which runs along the north side of the plant.

McDonald said employees started coming back into the plant around 9:45 p.m.

The company accounted for all employees and there were no injuries.

McDonald said employees and officials would monitor the building involved until Wednesday morning when a full investigation would start.

“It’s hard to get a whole lot done in the dark,” McDonald said. “We want to have the sun up so we can really get in and do a thorough search for a cause and find out what the problem was.”

McDonald said a building where they make dynamite dope is at the center of whatever happened.

On July 14, 1966, the plant, then known as the Hercules Powder Plant, was the site of a huge explosion that killed one person and damaged buildings across the city.