An explosion at the Albemarle Chemical Plant in Tyrone, PA, left three workers injured Monday night after an equipment malfunction, officials said.
The blast occurred Monday at 10:30 p.m. The cause of the blast is not clear right now, officials said.
The call came shortly after “some kind of pump blew up” at the plant, spraying hot oil onto three employees, Tyrone Borough Police Officer Scott Beall said.
The workers ended up burned with hot oil, said Blair County emergency officials. Company officials said the three people were taken to UPMC Altoona by ambulance. Two of the workers were released shortly afterwards with minor burns and lacerations.
A third worker had more serious burn injuries and is currently being treated at the Burn Center at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.
His injuries, however, are not life threatening, officials said.
Albemarle plant Manager Randy Andrews said it has been more than a year since an employee last suffered a recordable injury at the plant.
“This is a very rare thing,” he said of Monday’s accident. “Safety is our No. 1 priority here.”
The company released the following statement:
“At Albemarle the safety of our employees, contractors and our neighbors is of highest importance. We are thoroughly investigating the incident to determine the cause and take action to prevent this type of incident in the future.”
The Albermarle plant in Tyrone employs over 180 people. Production capabilities range from kilo-lab scale through hundreds of metric tons per year, according to the company’s website. With over 30 reactors, ranging in size from 30 gallons through 4,000 gallons, various materials of construction, and almost every unit operation available, the site is especially equipped for complex, multi-step synthesis of agricultural actives and other agricultural intermediates. Chemistries of all types are performed and quick turnaround is a key area of expertise of the site.