Update 5:36pm CST: It has been confirmed that 3 workers have been injured—one with burns
and two who reported respiratory issues. The fire is nearly out, but firefighters
have drained the city's water to fight the flames. In addition, firefighters
have been hosing down holding tanks to prevent further explosions. Local
churches are acting as shelters until evacuation orders are rolled back.
The Associated Press is reporting about a chemical plant explosion that
has occurred in Neodesha, Kansas early this morning. The explosion occurred
at the Airosol, Inc. plant, and injured a 57-year-old worker. Thankfully,
a spokesperson for Wilson County Emergency Management said his burns were
not fatal. The plant manufactures aerosol and other specialty chemicals
for consumer and industrial use.
As of right now, the situation is not yet contained. The residents of Neodesha,
which is 100 miles southeast of Wichita and numbers about 2,500 people,
were evacuated for several blocks around the plant. In addition, residents
were advised to avoid drinking from the local water supply.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has already launched
their investigation of the event.