An industrial plant worker is unaccounted for after an explosion rocked a building in Newburyport, prompting a response from local firefighters and mutual aid partners early on Thursday.
Dispatchers received calls of an explosion on 9 Opportunity Way at around 12:45 a.m., according to a statement from Newburyport Acting Fire Chief Stephen Bradbury III. The explosion was referred to as a “hazardous materials incident.
PCI Synthesis, located at 9 Opportunity Way, is a chemical manufacturing plant that produces active pharmaceutical ingredients, according to its website.
When firefighters arrived, they saw that the explosion caused an industrial-sized vat from inside the building to move about 30 feet, now sitting in an adjacent parking lot.
Five workers were at the plant at the time of the explosion, Bradbury said. Four of those workers were found, taken to a local hospital, treated and released. The fifth worker remains unaccounted for and due to the severe structural damage to the building, firefighters and technical rescue crews were unable to enter and conduct a search.
Bradbury added that while there’s no danger to residents in the immediate area, he urged “workers in the industrial park to avoid Opportunity Way while operations continue.”
He concluded that more information will be released when it becomes available.
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