State officials, distillery assess cleanup after Kentucky bourbon warehouse collapse

18,000 barrels involved
Posted at 4:32 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 16:32:38-04

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — How long will it take to clean up 18,000 Kentucky bourbon barrels?

John Mura, spokesman for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, says that's unknown.

Maybe because no one has ever had to do it before. 

Crews on site have "to get to the bottom of the building and all the barrels" to assess the damage, Mura said Thursday,  after what was left of a Barton 1792 distillery warehouse collapsed Wednesday afternoon.

Part of the warehouse collapsed last month, dumping about 9,000 barrels and spilling bourbon into a nearby creek. Another 9,000 barrels piled on top of those Wednesday.

The bourbon spill killed nearly 1,000 fish, Mura said, but two retention ponds dug since then appear to be catching the runoff whiskey this time.

Crews are pumping out the ponds, but no one knows how long that process will continue, Mura said.

A company hired by the distillery is sampling the water in the creek every four hours "just in case there is something in the stream," Mura said.

"Everything is going well. They're (Barton 1792) on top of this. We're on top of this ... not like the last time, he said.

SEE photos and details from Wednesday's distillery collapse.