1 person critically injured in Neodesha plant explosion

Firefighters are working to contain a fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant after an explosion there injured one employee. This shot was taken from the highway patrol helicopter. (Courtesy: Kansas Highway Patrol)
Firefighters are working to contain a fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant after an explosion there injured one employee. This shot was taken from the highway patrol helicopter. (Courtesy: Kansas Highway Patrol)

NEODESHA, Kan. (KSNW) – Federal safety inspectors are investigating an explosion and fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant that injured one employee. It happened around 6 a.m. Neodesha is located in Wilson County in far southeast Kansas.

One worker, a 57-year-old man, was critically injured and was transported to a Wichita hospital.

Several blocks around the plant were evacuated and the town’s schools closed for the day. Residents also were asked not to drink city water due to extremely low pressure.

A shelter has been set up at United Methodist, First Christian, and Nazarene Churches.

Robert Lopez lives only three blocks from the explosion. He felt his house shake. He took video of the explosion.

“After I came out of the house and saw the plume, I kind of walked down what you call Church Street and that is where the video was taken.”

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation.

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