TOSHA opens investigation after explosion at Sevierville manufacturing plant
There was an explosion Thursday afternoon at a manufacturing plant near the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Airport, responders on the scene told WVLT News.
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An investigation is underway by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration following an explosion at a Sevierville manufacturing plant on July 21.
The explosion happened at Johnson Matthey Catalysts, located at 1246 Airport Road, officials said. They also told WVLT News that the company had safety precautions in place, which prevented any injuries.
WVLT News spoke to Sevierville Fire Chief Matt Henderson on the scene, who said that “where the explosion took place, the building was designed to handle the explosion.” After the explosion, the company extinguished fires using chemical extinguishers, he said. Company workers had to use chemical extinguishers because the chemicals involved in the explosion react to water, Henderson told WVLT News.
Directly after the explosion, responders issued a voluntary evacuation for everyone within 1,000 feet of the area out of an abundance of caution, Henderson said. That evacuation has been lifted, he said.
WVLT News spoke to TOSHA officials on the day of the explosion, who said “TOSHA is aware of the incident at Matthey Catalysts. The company has not notified TOSHA of any employee fatalities or hospitalizations. TOSHA will follow up with the company to determine if will conduct an on-site inspection.”
Since, a TOSHA representative said they had opened an investigation into the incident on Friday, July 22. They said an investigation typically takes from three to six months to complete.
The plant manager said they were evaluating the damage from the explosion to see when the plan can reopen.
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