Verla International, the cosmetics factory where one person was killed and over 125 others suffered injuries in a deadly explosion Monday, has had a series of citations for safety violations.
The injuries arose from two separate blasts about 25 minutes apart, and their cause is still unknown. The second blast killed an employee who one co-worker said had gone inside the factory to make sure everyone had gotten out of the building.
The killed worker was William Huntington, 57, of Newburgh.
Verla International issued a statement about Huntington Tuesday, saying, “Bill was a valued employee and we at Verla are sorry to his friends and family for their loss.”
The factory, Verla International in New Windsor, New York, had been cited for nine safety violations this year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to an Associated Press report.
One of the violations was related to the handling of flammable and combustible liquids and another to the maintenance of exit routes. The company agreed to pay $41,000 in penalties.
Police said the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory in New Windsor, about an hour’s drive from New York City. Firefighters who responded were inside when the second explosion occurred around 10:40 a.m.
The majority of the injuries were reported to be non-life-threatening.
Environmental officials arrived to monitor the air and water around the factory, and state and local authorities are investigating the causes of the explosions.