Plane Crashes into Chemical Facility

Friday, January 23, 2015 @ 03:01 PM gHale


Physical security and process safety plans came into play at a warehouse full of chemicals Thursday as a small plane crashed killing two people and left the storage building smoldering near the Lakeland, FL, Linder Regional Airport.

The two victims were on the plane, a Piper Apache A23, which authorities crashed near 5300 Allen K. Breed Highway just south of Interstate 4 and east of County Line Road.

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Officials with the airport said the plane was from Tailwheels Flight School, according to Lakeland Public Information Officer Janel Vasallo.

The warehouse was a storage facility for Key Safety Systems, a company that produces safety products for cars, including airbags, inflators, steering wheels, seatbelts and electronics. Lakeland is home to the company’s Inflator Technical Center facility.

The crash, which happened just before 10 a.m., required a response from fire rescue and hazardous materials teams because of chemicals stored in the warehouse. Firefighters stayed out of the warehouse due to an explosion risk, Vasallo said.

The building contained powdered aluminum and nitroguanidine, chemicals used in making airbags.

In terms of fighting the fire, firefighters just worked to keep the chemicals wet, Vasallo said. With the chemicals involved, it could take quite a while before firefighters can get in the building.

There was no one inside of the building at the time of the crash, Vasallo said.



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