NEWBURYPORT, MASS. (WHDH) - Fire officials are investigating a series of explosions that rocked a chemical manufacturing building in Newburyport early Thursday morning.
Firefighters responding to an alarm at PCI Synthesis on Opportunity Way around 4:30 a.m. found heavy, black smoke before retreating from the building, according to Newburyport Deputy Fire Chief Steve Bradbury. The PCI workers were also evacuated from the building.
Once outside, they heard three explosions and about 10 to 15 minutes later, they heard three more explosions, Bradbury added.
The explosions left a 5-foot by 8-foot hole in the roof.
There were no reported injuries.
Bradbury says the incident has been contained to one area of the building.
The regional hazmat team is investigating the cause of the explosions and working to determine what chemicals may have been involved.
Fire crews didn’t enter the building but a hazmat robot was sent inside and found that the impacted chemical drum was not compromised.
Officials closed three adjacent buildings, along with surrounding roads.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is assisting with an investigation.
In June 2019, OSHA fined PCI Synthesis $86,266 for eight serious violations for “process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals.”
This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.
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