Two Explosions Reported at Louisville Chemical Plant

January 16, 2008

A fire broke out at a chemical plant in west Louisville, Ky. forcing an evacuation of employees, a plant spokesman said.

No injuries were reported at the BASF Corp. plant, which makes pigments for printing, ink, paint and plastics, and the fire was contained to a piece of equipment, said John Schmidt, a company spokesman.

A fire official told WLKY-TV there were two explosions at the plant and a cloud of dust leaking from the building. Schmidt did not immediately confirm the blasts.

Marsha Sutton, who works at a nearby sports bar, said she heard two explosions that shook the business.

“You could feel it,” she said.

Fire department spokesman Ronel Brown told WLKY that a pigment made by the company was leaking and said that nearby residents were asked to stay inside. Brown said rail traffic near the plant was shut down.

Schmidt said officials were investigating to determine what caused the fire.

The plant has 132 employees, but he did not immediately know how many were working when the fire broke out.

The company’s main headquarters are in Germany and its U.S. operations are based in Florham Park, N.J.

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