3 Injured After Ammonia Explosion At Detroit Pop Distribution Plant

August 06, 2018 - 4:22 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) -  Three people were taken to a local hospital, including two police officers, following explosion at a pop plant in Detroit.

According to Detroit Fire Chief Dave Fornell, it happened at about 9:15 a.m. at Intrastate Distributors Inc., in the 20000 block of Exeter, -- which distributes Towne Club brand beverages. 

"Ammonia started to come out; and, of course, that is an irritant gas," Fornell told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "The building was evacuated and our people had to stage a little bit away from it."

HAZMAT crews were called to the scene to deal with the ammonia leak, and the public was urged to avoid the area, north of State Fair and west of John R., near the old Michigan State Fairgrounds.

"You looked down the street there was a bunch of white smoke, and then there was like about 15 people running out of the building," said William, a local resident who didn't give his last name.

Fornell said two police officers were among those who suffered chest pains and throat irritation due to chemicals in the air. 

"There was a plant employee who was treated on the scene but he refused transport," Fornell said. "But about an hour later he decided he'd better go, too...So actually we had a 57-year-old male employee of the facility, and two policemen were taken to Receiving Hospital."

Detroit police and fire set up a perimeter, blocking traffic on State Fair for about five blocks near the scene into the late morning, and the public was urged to avoid the area.

As for what caused the incident, an investigation is ongoing.