A High Springs chemical plant explosion at Air Liquide injured four people on Thursday morning.
High Springs Fire Department (HSFD) firefighters responded to the incident at 4:01 a.m. at 17526 High Springs Main St. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and four people were injured.
“There were four people injured and one of them was a critical injury that was airlifted out by UF Shands Care,” said HSFD spokesperson Kevin Mangan in an interview. “The others were transported by ground with minor to moderate injuries”
The regional HAZMAT team from Gainesville Fire Rescue was requested, along with their hazardous materials team, to investigate the area to make sure it was safe.
“They did mitigate that hazard and determined there was no threat to the immediate surrounding area,” Mangan said. “There were no further leaks from any chemicals inside (the plant).”
The road between NW 182nd Avenue (County Road 34) and NW 174th Avenue was closed from 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to allow emergency responders access to the scene and not because there was any continued threat to the public, Mangan said.
“The road was closed just for scene safety for the multi-agency response,” Mangan said. “We had personnel from a half dozen agencies…when you’re dealing with an incident like this, there’s certain setbacks you have to have for your various operating areas and we want to make sure there was ample space for everyone to work.”
According to Air Liquide’s website, the company, “provides ultra high purity gases and innovative advanced materials to the semiconductor industry.”
The State Fire Marshall’s Office will investigate the cause of the explosion.