Explosion rocks Palm Bay chemical plant in Florida, USA #Explosion #ChemicalPlant #PalmBay #Florida #USA
No injuries have been reported after an explosion rocked a chemical plant in Palm Bay Tuesday morning, sending clouds of thick black smoke into the sky.
Police in both Palm Bay and Melbourne tweeted about the incident shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
About 30 minutes later, Palm Bay Fire Rescue confirmed that the explosion happened at FAR Chemical on Wilhelmina Court. According to its website, FAR Chemical has been “handling and processing complex and hazardous chemistries” at its Palm Bay facility for the past 35 years.
The chemicals manufactured at the site are used in pharmaceuticals, coatings, adhesives, sealants, composites, flavors and fragrances.
The plant has been evacuated.
According to Palm Bay Fire Rescue, the explosion originated from an industrial storage area containing 30 to 40 50-gallon barrels of an isopropyl alcohol-based solution.
“Hazmat teams are on scene and have confirmed that the materials and resulting plume are non-toxic. One business was evacuated due to the explosion; however, no additional evacuations are required at this time,” a news release read.
The exact cause of the explosion is under investigation, although a Palm Bay Fire Rescue official said a refrigeration issue caused a fire, which in turn ignited barrels of solvent.
U.S. 1 and RJ Conlan Boulevard were closed to traffic until all roads opened at about 2:15 p.m.
Pictures show thick plumes of smoke coming from the facility.
Tasha Wadsworth told News 6 that the explosion shook her car as she was driving near the plant at about 10:39 a.m. She said the first explosion, was followed by several others.
Cracking and popping noises can be heard in a video she recorded of the black, billowing smoke.
A woman who called 911 told the operator, “A building just blew up.”
Moments later, she added, “It keeps blowing up.”
She said she saw flames and plumes of smoke coming from the area.
“I heard three explosions so far and people are stopping on the bridge. Oh my God. Oh this is terrible, oh my God,” she said.
Courtesy of clickorlando.com