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Blast investigation continues at Glenville asphalt plant

Blast investigation continues at Glenville asphalt plant

A tanker explosion in Glenville that sent three people to hospitals is still under investigation, of
Blast investigation continues at Glenville asphalt plant
Dark smoke pouring out from behind the Waters Edge hotel construction site in Glenville.
Photographer: Brett Samuels

A tanker explosion in Glenville that sent three people to hospitals is still under investigation, officials said Tuesday.

Emergency crews responded shortly after 1 p.m. Monday to Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions, where a tanker truck being loaded with a mix of kerosene and asphalt caught fire and exploded. The incident was caused by a valve on the truck being heated, which ignited vapors and led to the explosion, officials said.

Three people were sent to area hospitals with burns, said Gregg Petricca, chief of Thomas Corners Fire Department, including one who was taken by helicopter. Their conditions were still not being released as of Tuesday afternoon.

[Three injured in Glenville tanker truck explosion]

The asphalt company, which is situated off of Freemans Bridge Road along the Mohawk River, is owned by the Gorman Group. A lawyer who represent the Gorman Group said in a statement on the company’s behalf that it appreciates the outpouring of concern for the workers involved in the blast.

“Once we have all the facts concerning the events which occurred at our Glenville facility, the information will be shared as appropriate,” attorney Frank O’Connor said in the prepared statement.

Inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been dispatched to the plant, an OSHA spokesman said. The organization will determine whether there were any violations in worker safety leading up to the explosion.

Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions has not been cited in the past by OSHA, though the Gorman Group has. In 2010, the company was fined $1,500 for work zone safety violations during a paving project in Vermont, according to an OSHA database.

The Glenville site has been making highway construction materials since 1975, according to its website.

Petricca said Monday the work being done prior to the explosion was considered routine and added that the fire did not spread beyond the single tanker truck.

The explosion happened just a few hundred feet from construction of the new Waters Edge Hotel. Workers there said they heard the blast and felt a burst of heat Monday afternoon. The construction site was shut down for the day on Monday as a precaution.

One witness was working at the nearby Elmo’s Auto Body shop along Freemans Bridge Road and recalled hearing four separate explosions.

“Trucks are in and out of here all the time,” he said. “It’s just a normal deal.”

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