Explosion at First Chemical Contained - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/13/02

Explosion at First Chemical Contained

At approximately 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning there was an explosion at the First Chemical Plant on Industrial Road in Pascagoula.

The explosion is contained, and no chemicals are leaking. An evacuation for residents was not ordered.

Pascagoula resident Archie Flowers, who lives near the plant, heard and felt the explosion this morning.

"It sounded like one of the big ones I heard in World War II," Flowers said. "Sitting in my chair watching television, all of sudden my whole house shook. It rattled everything. I heard sirens from every direction, and they were headed out to First Chemical."

Flowers didn't know what happened, but wanted to find out.

"All the neighbors got up and went outside to see what was going on. We couldn't get close because the police had blockages, but we could see the flames and the smoke a least a half a mile away," Flowers said.

There are currently two injuries WLOX News has learned about as a result of the explosion.

The First Chemical Corporation has four independent operating units in the contiguous facility. The four units include: the Port Facility Unit (Aniline Production), the Nitration #1 Unit, Nitration #2 Unit, and the Hydrogenation Units #1 and #2.

Here is some more information from the EPA:

Facility Name FIRST CHEMICAL CORPORATION

Facility Location City PASCAGOULA State MS

Sister Facilities None

Combustor Class ONSITE INCINERATOR

Combustor Type Starved air Combustor Characteristics John Zink model

Capacity (MMBtu/hr) Soot Blowing APCS WHB

APCS Characteristics Waste heat boiler

Hazardous Wastes HW LIQ

Stack Characteristics Diameter (ft) 1.9

Height (ft) 181.0

Gas Velocity (ft/sec) 18.7

Gas Temperature (°F) 528.8

By Nathan Mihelich

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