Part of rickhouse collapses at O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro

Updated: Jun. 17, 2019 at 6:14 AM EDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Part of a rickhouse at O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro collapsed overnight.

It happened around midnight.

Master Distiller Jacob Call told us that he isn’t sure what caused the building to come down. He said engineers will be out to investigate and see if the collapse was storm related.

“We suspect it’s somewhat weather related, you know we did have some storms last night," Call said. "Too early to tell, but that’s kind of the way it looks at the moment.”

He says the building stored around 20,000 barrels of bourbon and it looks about 4,000 fell. He hopes those can be saved.

Officials on scene told us no one was hurt.

“It’s disheartening to say the least... we’ll bounce back," said Call. "We’re pretty resilient here at OZ Tyler.”

Now, officials are trying to figure out how to clean up the mess, that OZ Tyler employees say could take about a month to pick up.

“We’re not the first distillery that this has happened to," Call said. "So we’re going to use some of the same contractors that have done this type of work before. So the engineers, the clean up crew, the environmental group, pretty much the same group that have dealt with these same issues before.”

The collapse also pulled down power lines, which crews have worked to secure.

“What I’m worried about is it blowing up," said Roger Boyle, a neighbor to the distillery. "Because there’s enough whiskey in that thing, it’s a bomb waiting to happen.”

But after assessing all the damage, employees are glad things didn’t turn out even worse.

“It could have been a lot worse," Call said "We’re very fortunate, so we’re counting our blessings now that everything’s okay.”

We’ll keep you updated.

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