Local News

Two Injured in Styrofoam Plant Explosion

Posted Updated

ZEBULON — July 29, 1996 - 6:40 p.m. EDT

Two men were injured in Zebulon Sunday night when an explosion blew apart a cargo trailer at the Nomaco styrofoam plant.

Police are now calling the explosion an accident, and say it was caused by fumes ignited with a cigarette lighter. One cargo trailer was blown apart and another was damaged.

The injured men, a truck driver and a contract loading-dock worker, were burned, but their injuries are not life-threatening.

Workers cleaned up pieces of foam debris and took down what was left of the exploded trailer Monday while investigators and company officials tried to determine what caused the blast.

Nomaco C.E.O. Marc Noel (pictured at right) says safety rules were broken.

The trailer, which was filled with about a ton of low-density plastic foam, was to have been taken to a mattress company early Monday morning. Company officials say the trailer could have been parked at a loading dock, but it was parked in a staging area when the explosion occurred.

Zebulon's fire chief says one of the men used a lighter to check some papers. The fame then ignited the blast which blew up the trailer and scattered foam into nearby woods. There was no fire because the fumes ignited immediately and burned instantly.

Investigators from O.S.H.A. looked over the site Monday afternoon, but there is no word yet as to whether any charges will be filed in this accident

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