An explosion at a laminate manufacturing plant in Postville, Iowa, injured three people at about 1:15 a.m. Monday.
When firefighters arrived at the Industrial Laminates/Norplex Inc. plant, they reported blue smoke emerging from the side of the building and black smoke on the roof, according to The Associated Press.
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Postville Fire Chief Jeffrey Bohr said firefighters helped maintenance personnel inside the building to put out smaller fires and shut down necessary gas valves, boilers, and valves which transfer explosive/flammable materials used in the plants manufacturing process.
Chief Bohr said three people were injured in the explosion. One person, who was in critical condition, was transported by ambulance to the local hospital and later airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospital's Burn Unit in Iowa City. A second person was transported to a local hospital and was treated and released. A third person refused treatment at the scene.
"Our prayers are with our employees and their families," said IndustrialLaminates/Norplex Inc. in a statement.
The Postville fire department says the explosion and fire caused an estimated $5 million to $7 million in damages. The Iowa State Fire Marshall will be investigating the explosion and fire.
The Postville Fire Department was assisted by the Postville Area Ambulance Service, Monona Ambulance service, Luana Fire Department, Decorah Fire Department's aerial truck, Postville Police Department, Allamakee County Sheriff, Allamakee County Emergency Management, and the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office.
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