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US whiskey distillery blast injures two

27 April 2015

An explosion and fire at the Silver Trail Distillery in the town of Hardin, Kentucky, injured two workers on April 24, according to Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars. He said the distillery, which opened in 2011 and produces LBL Moonshine brand and other small batch whiskeys, was a total loss.

The two injured employees were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where they are in critical condition.

Frank Murphy, the director of Marshall County Emergency Management, said the pair entered the building to check on a batch that had been distilling for about five hours when the blast occurred.

He said the cause of the explosion is under investigation. Earlier, Sheriff Byars 
said fire officials believe a still at the plant malfunctioned, causing the blast.

Bill Compton, a deputy with the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s hazardous materials division, said the investigation was ongoing and that he would be at the site in the coming weeks with the investigators from Silver Trail’s insurance company to work out what exactly caused the incident.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Compton said. “There was a catastrophic failure of the still, which caused the still to be catapulted through the building and into the gravel driveway of the facility. What exactly caused the still to overpressurise and fail, at this point, we don’t know - it’s still under investigation.”

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