Airgas Explosion Kills One

Aug. 29, 2016
Investigation is ongoing in nitrous oxide explosion in Florida.

At least one person is dead after a noontime explosion on Aug. 28 at an Airgas Facility at the Ascend Performance Materials chemical plant located just north of Pensacola, Fla., in the state’s panhandle.

The chemical that exploded was nitrous oxide. According to the company’s website, Ascend manufactures and supplies chemicals, fibers and plastics products for use in various commercial and industrial products. Airgas is a distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases as well as a product line of safety products, welding equipment and specialty tools.

As emergency workers, assisted by an Ascend response team, secured the area and made sure there was no risk of an additional explosions, it was determined that one Airgas employee was missing. After an extensive search, his body was recovered after 6 p.m.

According to an article in the Pensacola News Journal, the investigation is still ongoing, but the early assessment is that the explosion likely originated near a holding tank in the Airgas loading dock where two semis were delivering nitrous oxide.

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