Two Injured in Chemical Plant Explosion

Two people were transported to a hospital after a blast at the Rathburn Chemicals production plant in Walkerburn, Scottish Borders, Scotland on Friday morning, officials and local news organizations said. Some homes near the plant were evacuated as a precaution during the incident and a school near the site closed.

Fire crews responded to the site at about 7 a.m. and remained on scene for several hours to put out a fire, coverage from the BBC said. Officials notified the public that some debris containing asbestos could have spread to areas near the facility.

“Debris from the incident has been distributed into neighboring residential areas in the vicinity of Caberston Road, which we believe includes roof tiles which may contain asbestos,” the Scottish Borders Council said in a post on its website. “A risk assessment is being carried out, however we believe that the risk to the public is very low due to the type of material involved.”

Emergency personnel also shut down a portion of the A72 highway while the firefighting effort was underway.

The Walkerburn plant was destroyed in a boiler explosion and fire in 2001, according to The Scottish Sun.

Rathburn Chemicals produces HPLC grade solvents, glass distilled solvents, and materials for biochemistry, oligonucleotide synthesis, and peptide synthesis, information on the company’s website states. The firm was founded in 1975.


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