National News

Employee injured during explosion at South Deerfield recycling company

Posted July 7

— Authorities in South Deerfield are trying to determine the cause of an explosion that sent a worker to the hospital Thursday morning.

An employee at 'Pro Pel Plastics', a plastic recycling company on Industrial Drive was unloading material from a truck around 8:30 a.m.

The worker described moments before the explosion saying he felt "extreme heat and noticed some blue flame."

"When he was unloading a truck of rolled foam polypropylene, there was an explosion that sent him and some rolls out of the truck," Deerfield Police Officer Adam Sokoloski.

Fellow employees jumped into help their co-worker and dialed 911.

Haz-Mat teams along with the State Fire Marshal's Office along with State troopers joined local fire and police at the scene.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but police told Western Mass News that static electricity may be to blame.

"The polypropylene rolls of foam plastic they create gas under heat, and the truck was loaded Tuesday. There are some instructions about ventilation, some time needs to be given to unload the truck. That probably didn't happen long enough," explained police.

Luckily, the worker had minor injuries and "plastic embedded into his skin" but is expected to be ok.

Western Mass News reached out to the owner of the company but they do not have any comment at this time.

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