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3 Hurt in Explosion at Massachusetts Chemical Facility

April 15, 2019

Firefighters responded to a chemical explosion at the IQE facility in Taunton, MA that occurred on Sunday morning as maintenance was being performed on a piece of equipment, the Taunton Fire Department said in a press release. 

The explosion was reported at the John Hancock Road facility about 12:25 a.m. Three workers received injuries in the incident and were transported to an area hospital for treatment. 

“Upon arrival, the first arriving engine company found three employees suffering from flash burns on their faces and hands,” Taunton Fire Chief Timothy J. Bradshaw said in a statement. “Firefighters were notified about the possibility that hazardous materials were released into the air.”

Taunton Fire requested a Tier 2 Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) response from agencies around the region. HAZMAT personnel determined that compressed hydrogen and arsine were involved in the explosion, but the substances were not released into the environment. Officials said they are investigating the cause of the explosion.  

“The danger was confined to a piece of equipment used in manufacturing,” said Chief Bradshaw in the release. 

Established in 1988, IQE is a manufacturer of advanced semiconductor wafer products and a provider of wafer services, according to the firm’s website. The company purchased the Taunton facility in 2012 as part of its acquisition of Kopin Inc. 

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