Officials working to determine cause of fiery explosion at NKY chemical plant

Manufacturing at NKY plant paused after explosion, fire
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - The fiery explosion at a Northern Kentucky chemical plant on Monday may have been caused by equipment failure, Fort Wright Fire Chief Stephen Schewe said Tuesday.

While the exact cause is still being investigated, all manufacturing at the Latonia Avenue plant has been paused until investigators can determine what happened.

The Fort Wright fire chief said the explosion sound nearby residents heard likely came from a lid popping off of one of the vessels used to store polyester resin at the plant.

Towards the back of the building is where firefighters found flames coming from one of the vessels that appeared to overheat, the chief explained.

The booming noise, which can be heard in the below video, likely originated there, he said.

Bobbie Kottmyer, who shared this video after hearing the explosion, said the chemical plant has created an ongoing nuisance for years.

She says the plant sends foul smells through the neighborhood.

“The residents have voiced several concerns about the smells coming from that plant throughout the time since I moved here,” according to Kottmyer.

Chief Schewe said there have been some ongoing improvements at the plant to trap some of the odors that residents nearby are smelling.

He is meeting with plant engineers Tuesday to see if they can determine what went wrong late Monday.

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