A series of chemical explosions at an environmental services facility in Bridgeport, Conn., sent three people to the hospital Friday.
The Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center said in a Facebook post that the explosion occurred at the TradeBee USA building at 1:54 p.m.
Around that time, a deliveryman arrived with 4,000 gallons of an unspecified oxidizer. Oxidizing agents are chemicals that are not necessarily flammable on their own, but are added to other substances to make them more likely to catch fire.
City officials said the explosion occurred during the delivery of oxidizer.
“At this time, we know that approximately 4,000 gallons of low-grade oxidizer were delivered. It appears that the driver opened one of the valves, causing a large explosion and causing multiple smaller explosions. Scott Appleby, Bridgeport’s emergency management director, told the Connecticut Post.
The explosion caused a three-alarm fire. Of the three unidentified victims, one was hospitalized with burns and the other two were hospitalized with smoke inhalation, according to the Bridgeport EOC.
Two of the three victims were released from the hospital Friday night, but the other remained hospitalized as of Saturday morning, Appleby said. Authorities have not said whether the victims were bystanders or Tradebe employees.
“We are cooperating and working closely with first responders and regulators,” a Tradebe spokesperson said in a statement to local NBC station WVIT-TV.
Air quality was deemed safe and a temporary evacuation zone was lifted Friday night, but runoff into local waterways remains a concern.
“Water runoff is constantly being monitored and the public is advised not to fish in nearby streams due to high PH levels. Fishing in nearby streams may continue if water levels drop. “There is,” Appleby told the Hartford Courant.