Fish Meal Dust Eyed as Cause of Alaska Plant Explosion

September 21, 2016

1 Min Read
Fish Meal Dust Eyed as Cause of Alaska Plant Explosion
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Investigators are considering fish meal dust as the cause of an explosion at an Unalaska, AK Westward Seafoods plant on Monday, KTOO news reported Tuesday.

“The best guess is that there was some type of an explosion caused by the fish dust being ignited in a confined area,” said Unalaska Department of Public Safety director Mike Holman in the article.

First responders responded to the explosion at around 6:45 p.m. Monday as large amounts of smoke was coming out of the plant. No one was injured, KTOO reported, but investigators estimate that damages total more than $100,000.

“There was heavy smoke and steam coming out of the fish meal area,” Holman told the news outlet. “The sprinklers were going off, and fire alarms were going off as well. But they did not find a fire.”

The plant’s manager Dan Le told KTOO that a seawater line broke at about 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Holman said the burst pipe could have contributed to igniting the dust and causing the explosion.

“It could have been the pump or something else,” said Holman.

The incident is under investigation. Westward said the plant is still in operation, but the company closed a section of the facility due to damage.

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