North Carolina OSHA Starts Probe into Fertilizer Plant Fire

North Carolina OSHA Starts Probe into Fertilizer Plant Fire

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The North Carolina Department of Labor has opened an investigation into the safety conditions and fire at a fertilizer plant that erupted in flames Jan. 31, forcing the evacuation of thousands because of explosive chemicals stored at the site.

A local television news outlet reported that the department’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health had launched a formal inquiry into the the cause of the blaze and the storage of highly explosive ammonium nitrate at the plant in Winston-Salem.

The Weaver Fertilizer manufacturing site had kept about 600 tons on ammonium nitrate on the property, according to news reports. The compound can explode if exposed to enough heat. It also can be an accelerant for fires that begins separately.

The chemical has been the source or a contributing factor to massive explosions and loss of life in West Texas and Beirut, Lebanon, in recent years.

Photo: Smoke from the Weaver Fertilizer plant fire, Feb. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Skip Foreman)

Workers’ Compensation
North Carolina

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