Man seriously injured in flash fire at Cedar Lake Road industry
By Calvin Cooley For The Decatur Daily
Updated Oct 22, 2016
An unidentified man was transported by helicopter ambulance to Birmingham following a flash fire Friday morning at ChemTrade Logistics Inc. in Southeast Decatur.
Decatur Fire Chief Tony Grande said vapor trails ignited the flash inside the facility, which is located at 1008 Cedar Lake Road S.E. near Central Baptist Church.
"This was not a chemical or hazardous materials event," he said. "We responded and treated burns to the victim upon arrival. He was then sent to Birmingham to continue to receive treatment."
Morgan County 911 received a call from ChemTrade at 10:59 a.m. reporting a loud boom and calls of a man being down inside the facility, Morgan County 911 Director Ryan Welty said. Decatur police, Decatur Fire and Rescue and ambulances responded to the call.
The boom was heard blocks away.
"It sounded like thunder," said Debbie Bell, who was inside Central Baptist Church at the time. "We couldn't see anything from where we were, but we heard it. There were a lot of police and emergency vehicles outside right after it happened. We stepped outside for a few minutes and saw someone get sent away in the helicopter."
AirEvac 15 out of Vinemont responded to the scene. The severity of the victim's burns was not immediately known.
ChemTrade's chief financial officer, Rohit Bhardwaj, said the company was monitoring the situation but could provide more details of what happened inside the facility.
"All we can say at this point is that a maintenance employee was injured while working," he said. "We have a member of management on the way to the hospital so we can stay updated on the employee's status. Our primary focus is doing what is best for the employee and the employee's family while we work to figure out what exactly took place."
According to its website, ChemTrade Logistics, based in Toronto, is one of North America's largest suppliers of sulfuric acid, spent acid processing services, inorganic coagulants for water treatment, liquid sulfur dioxide, sodium nitrite, sodium hydrosulfite and phosphorus pentasulfide.
Decatur plant worker treated for burns
Rachel Keith Will Robinson-Smith
Updated Oct 21, 2016
A Decatur, AL plant worker is being treated for burns after a possible flash fire at Chemtrade Logistics.
Stacy Rose with Decatur Fire and Rescue said they received the call about an explosion at Chemtrade Logistics off Cedar Lake Road around 11:00 a.m. Friday morning.
Rose said a man was working at the chemical plant and received burns. He was flown to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital for treatment.
According to Chemtrade CFO Rohit Bhardwaj, the injured employee has been working in maintenance for about two years. He said the employee was performing maintenance on the outside of one of their reactors when the flash fire occurred.
Bhardwaj said no one else was hurt and that there will be an internal investigation into the cause of the flash fire.
The plant mostly produces chemicals that are used in water treatment, according to Bhardwaj.
Decatur police said no chemicals were involved in the accident.
Chemtrade operates a diversified business providing industrial chemicals and services to customers in North America and around the world. Chemtrade is one of North America’s largest suppliers of sulfuric acid, spent acid processing services, inorganic coagulants for water treatment, liquid sulfur dioxide, sodium nitrite, sodium hydrosulfite and phosphorus pentasulfide. Chemtrade is a leading regional supplier of sulfur, sodium chlorate, potassium chloride, and zinc oxide. Chemtrade obtains these products from its own production facilities and through long-term marketing services agreements and distributes them to customers around the world. Additionally, Chemtrade provides industrial services such as processing by-products and waste streams.
Chemtrade owns a total of 62 production facilities in North America that can be broadly classified as either:
- sulphuric acid / regen acid / ultrapure acid / sodium bisulphite / liquid SO2 plants;
- inorganic coagulants plants;
- liquid SHS / zinc oxide plants;
- individual specialty chemical plants for the production of:
- phosphorus pentasulphide;
- potassium chloride;
- sodium chlorate / crude tall oil;
- sodium nitrite; and
- vaccine adjuvants; or
- plants providing customers with specialized services for:
- ammonia scrubber effluent processing;
- hydrogen sulphide processing;
- sulphur prilling; and
- ultra pure chemical production
Internationally, all product is sourced through marketing arrangements.