Industrial Waste Facility Brings Haz-Mat Response
A CHEMICAL REACTION WITH A KA-BOOM AND FLASH fire burned two employees at an environmental industrial waste facility early Friday morning.
Around 3:45 am, four workers at the Environmental Enterprises, Inc., plant in Cincinnati, Ohio, were cleaning used filters prior to their being shredded when the accident occurred. The filters were laden with sodium chlorate which is sensitive to friction when something caused a spark and the resulting reaction.
Cincinnati Fire District Chief Mike Zimmerman said four workers working an overnight shift at Environmental Enterprises inc. at 4650 Spring Grove Avenue were shredding industrial air filters when an explosion and fire started. One worker was critically burned and remains in critical condition at University Hospital. A second worker also injured by the explosion is in stable condition at the hospital.
Sprinklers in the facility limited the fire but water was nearing Sodium Chlorite which is water reactive and can explode on contact with water, said Zimmerman. This created firefighting problems.
The haz-mat teams were also on the scene. Air quality was checked and no excessive limits were found. The fire units continued with mop up work on the hot spots and checking for extensions.
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