4 decontaminated after plant explosion
BERTHOUD ” A chlorine explosion hurt four people and damaged a water treatment plant Friday, but none of the injuries was serious, authorities said.
All four worked at the Carter Lake Filtration Plant about 40 miles north of Denver, Larimer County sheriff’s spokeswoman Eloise Campanella said. She said two required hospital treatment.
Four firefighters had to be decontaminated for exposure to the chemical.
Campanella said damage to the building was extensive but no dollar estimate was immediately available.
Authorities blocked roads into and out of the area and advised nearby residents to close windows and turn off air conditioners, Campanella said. No evacuations were reported.
Judy Dahl, business manager for the Little Thompson Water District, one of the operators of the plant, said a truck was unloading chemicals at the time but it was unclear what caused the explosion.
Dahl said no water-quality problems were expected because other plants in the system were still operating.
Chlorine is used to disinfect water but is toxic as a gas and poses a serious risk of fire and explosion. In World War I it became the first chemical used as a weapon.
Debra Graves of the Berthoud Fire District said it was not known how much chlorine leaked into the atmosphere.