Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dozens injured in explosions at New York cosmetics factory

Firefighters at the scene in New Windsor, New York (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP)
Firefighters at the scene in New Windsor, New York (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP)

Two explosions and a fire at a cosmetics factory north of New York City have left more than 30 people injured, including seven firefighters, authorities said.

The first explosion occurred at around 10.15am local time at the Verla International cosmetics factory, New Windsor police said.

Firefighters who responded were inside when the second explosion occurred at around 10.40am.

Up to 35 people were being treated for injuries, including seven firefighters, most of them from the nearby city of Newburgh, Town Supervisor George Green said.

Two of the firefighters were taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Centre, he said. None of the injuries appear to be life threatening.

One employee remains unaccounted for, Mr Green said.

Crews battled the blaze into late Monday afternoon.

"It's still an active fire scene," Mr Green said, adding that the flames were "knocked down pretty well at this point".

Hazardous materials teams also attended, Mr Green said.

Video obtained by WABC-TV in New York City showed thick, black smoke rising from a section of the roof of the facility, which includes manufacturing and warehouse buildings. Workers waited in a car park.

There was no word on a cause of the blaze.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said state emergency response teams have been sent to the factory.

The factory is about half a mile from the town hall and police station in New Windsor, on the Hudson River's west bank, 55 miles north of New York City.

The 37-year-old New Windsor-based company's website says the products it makes include nail polish, perfumes, lotions and other products.


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