1 killed, 2 injured in W.VA. chemical plant explosion
UPDATED 8:42 AM PT – Thursday, December 10, 2020
One person is dead and at least two others are injured following a chemical plant explosion in West Virginia. The explosion happened late Tuesday at the Optima Belle Chemical Plant in the town of Belle, which is located about 10 miles southeast of the capital city of Charleston.
The incident prompted a shelter-in-place order in a two mile radius around the plant. It has since been lifted. The explosion was reportedly heard and felt as far away as neighboring towns.
“I’ve never felt anything like this…it was a very tense jolt inside of your body and this is in your house,” recounted Marmet Mayor Jay Snodgrass. “I know it was a little lengthy on the shelter-in-place, but it was very warranted…that is part of the whole planning process to make sure nothing else happens.”
— 8News WRIC Richmond (@8NEWS) December 9, 2020
According to reports, the man who died was identified by family members as a chemical operator.
The explosion was reportedly caused by a metal dryer that became over pressurized. The incident remains under investigation.
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