Three workers performing maintenance work were injured at the United Initiators chemical plant Wednesday in Helena-West Helena, AR when an explosion involving benzoyl peroxide occurred in one of the site’s production units, Jon Cummins, the plant’s vice president of manufacturing told several local news organizations.
The company official said the incident was caused in one of the site’s production areas by decomposing benzoyl peroxide, a white, odorless powder or granules used in a wide array of applications from acne treatments to thermosets, the Helena-West Helena World reported.
No fire was reported during the incident, according to a report by Memphis, TN NBC News affiliate WREG. United Initiators would not disclose the nature of injuries suffered by the three employees, the television news station said. The workers were transported to an area hospital for treatment.
“Our production units have stopped and an investigation has begun. There has been no chemical releases due to this incident,” the company said in a statement published by WREG.
United Initiators was founded in 1911 in Germany. Its founders, Dr. Gustav Adolph and Albert Pietzsch, patented a method for the production of hydrogen peroxide in 1909, according to the firm’s website.