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One killed after explosion at Florida gas plant

30 August 2016

One person was killed in a major explosion at the Airgas facility within the Ascend Performance Materials plant in Cantonment, north west of Pensacola, on August 28. There were no other injuries or fatalities. The chemical that exploded was nitrous oxide and did not pose a threat to the public, county Public Safety Director Mike Weaver said in a statement. 

Stock image
Stock image

Airgas is a distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as safety products, welding equipment and specialty tools.

First responders reported a major explosion with an area of significant structural collapse within the plant. Ascend Performance Materials said its staff were cooperating with officials.

The investigation is under the lead of the Florida State Marshal’s Office.  Other agencies that responded to the scene included Escambia County Fire Rescue, Escambia County Emergency Management, Escambia County EMS, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Escambia Search and Rescue, the ATF, Florida Highway Patrol, the Trauma Intervention Program on Northwest Florida, and K-9 teams from the Century Correctional Institution.

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