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US chemical plant explosion kills worker

04 June 2024

An explosion at a liquid nitriding facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee killed one person on 30 May. The worker was initially rushed to hospital with serious injuries but was later confirmed to have died. The incident happened at a facility operated by TS USA.

Image: Chattanooga Fire Department
Image: Chattanooga Fire Department

In a statement on social media, the Chattanooga Fire Department said it had been called to an incident at the TS USA facility at around 09:00 local time. The department said one worker was reported to have suffered burns and that co-workers were attempting to help them.

Once firefighters arrived at the scene, they helped the employees quickly extinguish a fire before beginning patient care on the injured worker. The fire department said the site has a state-of-the-art salt bath nitriding line with large cylinders containing a hot solution that reacts with water. The department said that it appears there had been a chemical reaction, causing an explosion.

Hamilton County EMS transported one patient with extensive burns to hospital while three other workers were treated on the scene with minor burns. One firefighter also sustained a minor ankle injury.

Since a hazardous chemical was involved, the site was evacuated, although there was no danger or threat to the surrounding area. An investigation into the incident has been opened.

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