Cause still undetermined in Rubbertown blast

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Less than 24 hours after an explosion at a Rubbertown plant, officials were trying to determine what caused the blast at Eckart Aluminum that injured two employees Monday evening.

The workers have been released from the hospital, and we're told they suffered minor injuries.

On Tuesday, firefighters and the state fire marshal were at the plant to determine the exact cause of the blast.

Air monitoring equipment determined there was no need for any evacuations or shelter for nearby residents so no sirens were sounded.

Mark Westwell, General Manager for Eckart America Corp., issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

Last evening (May 9th) there was an incident at our Louisville manufacturing plant.

Firstly and most importantly, there were no serious injuries to any employees. Two employees did however require treatment for minor injuries.  Also, at no time was there any danger to the neighborhood.

At approximately 7.00pm, an explosion occurred in one of the atomizing systems out on a remote part of the property. The system is located away from other buildings and personnel so that such an occurrence can be relieved safely.  We are pleased to report that the safety features designed into the system appeared to work properly, minimizing the damage to plant and equipment.

We do not have further details at this time.  We are investigating the incident with the support and assistance of the relevant authorities. 

This is not the first fire at Eckart Aluminum, back in 2003 a fire broke out inside the plant. A few years earlier in 2000, a fire in one of the hoppers caused a blast that rocked nearby homes.

This is the third incident in Rubbertown this year. It was about a mile away, back on March 21st, two workers at Carbide Industries in were fatally injured after an explosion there. On April 19th, a 5,000-gallon ethanol spill at a gasoline storage site at the Marathon, prompted authorities to encourage neighbors to stay inside their homes and shut their windows.

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