Chemical Blast Kills One, Injures 5

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 07:11 PM gHale

A chemical explosion left one person dead and five injured at a Opa Locka, FL, warehouse, police said.

The explosion occurred at American Vinyl Company Thursday afternoon. A storage container in the building that holds 20,000 gallons of liquid unexplainably exploded, said members of a hazmat crew. The storage container went airborne creating a hole in the roof of the building.

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“If it over-pressurizes and some sort of reaction occurs, a chemical reaction, within the tank, and there’s no outlet for that pressure to be released, it can very easily cause an explosion,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesperson Arnold Piedrahita said. “As you can see, it blew through the roof.”

One person died and five employees suffered injuries. Two had difficulty breathing and ended up going to the hospital.

Crews are not sure whether the man died because of the initial impact of the explosion or if the storage container landed on top of him.

The hazmat team found the employees covered in a yellow liquid. Investigators are unsure what the liquid is.

“We see chemical spills, that’s a common occurrence, but something of this nature where a large chemical tank explodes through the roof of a warehouse, that’s not something that we get every day,” Piedrahita said.

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