News Feature | December 6, 2017

Employee Killed In Treatment Chemical Tank Explosion

Peter Chawaga - editor

By Peter Chawaga, Associate Editor, Water Online

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An employee was killed during a remarkable explosion at a wastewater treatment chemicals plant in North Carolina late last month.

“Authorities in Nash County told local media outlets that a fire tank exploded at Pennco, Inc. ... at around 9:30 a.m. on Friday,” U.S. News reported. “Pennco manufactures wastewater treatment chemicals. The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately known.”

Local reports from Raleigh, NC, indicate that the explosion was large enough to be heard and felt in nearby areas. Though two workers were initially reported as on duty at the time of the explosion, only the plant manager actually present.

“The plant manager has been identified as the person who died in an explosion in North Carolina last week,” U.S. News reported subsequently. “Authorities in Nash County said 64-year-old Dale Allen Bachmann died in the blast late Friday morning at a water purification chemical plant in Middelsex.”

An employee who happened to be driving by the plant when the explosion occurred was the one to initially call 911, ABC 11 reported.

“A HazMat team was called in to clean up the debris and was still on the scene late Friday afternoon,” per ABC 11, which also posted pictures of the aftermath.

To read more about the dangers that treatment chemicals can pose to employees visit Water Online’s Labor Solutions Center.

Image credit: "Around Middlesex," DeShaun Craddock, 2013, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/