Friday, May 5, 2023

Explosion kills one worker at PCI Synthesis in Newburyport, MA

The scene at PCI Synthesis (Newburyport, MA) 
credit: Jesse Costa/WBUR
A powerful explosion Thursday at a troubled pharmaceutical chemical plant in Massachusetts left one dead in a building the local fire chief said was too dangerous to search for hours.

Crews were finally able to enter damaged portion of the building on Thursday afternoon. They were removing barrels of chemicals and searching for a worker who had been missing since the explosion was reported in the early morning hours.

Acting Newburyport Fire Chief Stephen Bradbury III indicated that the body discovered was likely the missing worker.

"It's in a hazardous situation, located on the ground level, where we thought he would be located," Bradbury said Thursday evening, adding that crews got to that part of the facility "as quick as we could."
Click here to see what the explosion looked like. This is the third incident in three years - there was an explosion in 2020, and a chemical fire in 2021. The plant was shut down by the local fire chief before it was allowed to restart. It seems very likely that they will face local regulatory pressure, and I imagine that Seqens will have to think hard about what is required to make sure the plant is safe before it reopens. 

Best wishes to all involved, and to the families of those affected. 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20