Machine Explodes at NJ Factory

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 @ 05:10 PM gHale

Four workers suffered injuries after a machine exploded at the Inoac Crest Foam plant in Moonachie, NJ, Monday, prompting a shelter in place call.

“It almost knocked us off our feet,” said Moonachie First Assistant Fire Chief Justin Deravyanik, who lives three blocks from the plant.

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Because the company uses hazardous materials to create the foam products in the building, the Moonachie Police Department issued an emergency call to residents, warning them to shut their windows after the blast.

The Bergen County Hazardous Materials team determined no hazardous materials released into the air or building in the explosion, and residents were able to open their windows by 7 p.m.

The machine that exploded combines hydrogen and oxygen to make a foam used by industries as a filter, said Mike Bessette, president of the plant. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The 17 employees inside the plant at the time of the 4:30 p.m. explosion all evacuated on their own, Deravyanik said. Four ended up treated at Hackensack University Medical Center for minor injuries after suffering blows to the head.

The rest underwent decontamination by the Garfield hazardous materials team and sent home.

The decontamination and an emergency call ended up conducted out of an abundance of caution due to the hazardous materials in the building, Deravyanik said.

“Until we got an all clear from our guys, we wanted the residents to know what was going on, because the whole neighborhood heard the explosion,” he said.

The building will remain empty until a structural engineer determines it’s safe to enter, Deravyanik said. The explosion damaged a central warehouse, electrical components and the sprinkler system, he said.

The plant is the only one of its kind the Inoac company operates, Bessette said.

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