SC plant blast kills 1

An explosion Wednesday night at a duct tape plant in Columbia, S.C., has killed one person, and is the latest of three factory blasts that have killed and injured residents in three different states.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | March 31, 2005


An explosion Wednesday night at a duct tape plant in Columbia, S.C., has killed one person, and is the latest of three blasts that have killed and injured residents in three different states.

The South Carolina explosion occurred around 11 p.m. Wednesday night at the Intertape Polymer Group plant, according to fire officials. The victim had worked at the plant for 10 years.

Local emergency management officials asked residents living near the plant to stay inside and turn off ventilation systems because of thick smoke, but lifted that order a few hours later.

Last week, an explosion and fire at a British Petroleum plant in Texas City, Texas, killed 14 people and injured at least 100.

Environmental monitoring was set up around the refinery. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was working alongside the Texas Commission on Environmental Safety during the investigation.

The refinery is the third largest in the nation, producing 3 percent of the nationís motor gasoline.

Another explosion occurred last week in a PolyCarbon Industries factory in Leominster, Massachusetts. One operator sustained a minor burn on his hand.

Terrorism is not suspected in any of the blasts.

About 5,000 workers die annually on the job in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Factory, farm and construction jobs are the riskiest, though overall numbers of workplace deaths have declined over the last decade. Hispanics have a higher workplace death rate than any other ethnic group.


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