Dozens hurt in blasts, fire at NY cosmetics factory | Inquirer News

Dozens hurt in blasts, fire at NY cosmetics factory

/ 07:43 AM November 21, 2017

Firefighters work at the scene of of a fire on Monday, November 20, 2017, at the Verla International cosmetics factory on Temple Hill Road in New Windsor, New York. Authorities say two explosions and a fire at the cosmetics factory in the Hudson Valley have left numerous people injured, including firefighters caught in the second blast. (Jerry Barao via AP)

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — Two explosions and a fire at a cosmetics factory about an hour’s drive north of New York City left up to 35 people injured, including seven firefighters caught in the second blast, authorities said on Monday.

New Windsor police said the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory. Firefighters who responded were inside the facility when the second explosion occurred around 10:40 a.m.


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


He also said that two of the firefighters were taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center. While none of the injuries appear to be life threatening, one employee remains unaccounted for as of posting.

There was no word on the cause of the blaze, which fire crews and hazardous materials teams were battling into late Monday afternoon.

Verla was cited for nine occupational safety violations earlier this year, according to records on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website. One was related to problems with the handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

The federal agency also cited inadequacies relating to respirator protection for workers and the maintenance of exit routes. The company agreed to pay $41,000 in penalties.

Television video from Monday’s explosions showed thick, black smoke spewing from a section of the roof of the sprawling facility, which includes manufacturing and warehouse buildings. Workers milled about a parking lot while fire crews looked on.

“It’s still an active fire scene,” Green said, adding that the flames were “knocked down pretty well at this point.”


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state emergency response teams have been sent to the factory. Specifically, the Democratic governor added, state personnel dispatched included homeland security staffers, state police, environmental conservation enforcement officers, and health department technicians.

The state is also poised to investigate working conditions and regulatory compliance at the plant.

“Following today’s chemical explosion, I am directing a multi-agency investigation to get to the bottom of what happened and review compliance with state labor and environmental laws,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The factory is about a half-mile from the town hall and police station in New Windsor, on the Hudson River’s west bank, 88 kilometers (55 miles) north of New York City. The 37-year-old New Windsor-based company’s website states that among the products it makes are nail polish, perfumes, and lotions.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The company’s phone number was not working. An email sent to the company was not answered.             /kga

TAGS: Explosion, Fire, New York

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.