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Explosion at plastics plant in NKY prompts hours-long shelter-in-place

Everyone within 1 mile was asked to stay in place
Police at Fort Wright chemical plant Interplastic Corporation
Posted at 9:23 PM, Jan 10, 2022

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. — The shelter-in-place order in Fort Wright was lifted on Tuesday morning hours after an explosion at a plastics plant, according to Kenton County Dispatch.

The order was lifted at 5:30 a.m. It was put in place on Monday night after officials with the Interplastic Corporation on Latonia Avenue asked residents within one mile of its plant to stay inside their residence until an all clear was given. Multiple homes and businesses were within the affected area.

In a release, the city of Fort Wright said the explosion involved a storage vessel housing polyester resin. Crews were able to contain the fire with minimal property damage, but a 1,000-foot perimeter was established for safety purposes as they investigated the explosion.

"The situation is active, but contained and no immediate threat is believed to exist," the city said in the statement. "As the chemical resin continues to cool down it is off gassing and occasionally emitting a loud popping noise. These are not considered explosions, but rather a normal cooling process."

Interplastic Corporation describes itself as a specialty chemical company focusing on the production and distribution of unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, gel coats, colorants and putties.

The city said emergency crews will remain on-site to monitor the situation.

This is not the first shelter-in-place order in connection to the plant. Neighborhoods in the vicinity of Latonia Avenue were advised to stay inside after a cloud of white smoke was seen above the plant in March 2019. Covington fire officials said a pressure release valve failed or got stuck, causing the chemical leak.

Local authorities said anyone who feels like the need for medical attention should call 911.

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