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South Carolina plastics plant explosion kills at least one

07 December 2016

A blast at the DAK Americas plant at Gaston in Lexington County, SC, killed at least one worker and injured several others, the local coroner’s office said. The plant makes a range of fibre, plastic and resins and has 430 employees.

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Mark Leonhardt, a site manager with DAK, said the employees were working on a line that uses hot wax material, the kind used to help mold and build water bottles.

"We're all heartbroken about this," Leonhardt said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families. It's a very difficult time for everybody, and we're going to do everything that we can." He says they have counselors at hand for the employees and family members.

Employees told News19 this was very hard for them because they're all like family. That they felt like the company had a secure environment but this was a reminder of how dangerous the nature of their job really is.

Officials had at first told News19 that it was an explosion, but later clarified that it was a "workplace accident." David Chojackni with Calhoun County Emergency Services says the incident was isolated to one part of the complex.

Federal workplace investigators have been called to the scene, and the company's internal investigation team also is looking into the cause.

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