NORTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. – A Monday morning explosion at a Pennsylvania business injured one employee and caused a hazardous materials incident, Lehigh County officials confirmed.
According to Lehigh County Special Operations, an explosion at a construction materials supplier in North Whitehall Township ruptured a pipe from a hot tar storage tank just after 8 a.m. EDT, Lehigh Valley Live reported.
Citing emergency dispatchers, WFMZ-TV identified the business as New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania State Police confirmed to Lehigh Valley Live that one person was transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries, but no other details were provided about the victim.
According to the news outlet, a few thousand gallons of liquid tar leaked from the storage tanks following the explosion, prompting a hazardous materials response team to contain the growing tar puddle at the base of the tanks with mounds of gravel from the quarry’s campus.
Special operations workers ultimately used a steel plate and gasket secured with ratchet straps and a chain to slow the tar flow, allowing firefighters to cool the tar back into solid form using carbon dioxide from extinguishers, officials confirmed to Lehigh Valley Live.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, WFMZ reported.