Investigators Find Cause of Fatal Explosion at Paint Plant

Side panel of fire truck

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--The Columbus Division of Fire and the Occupational Safety Health Administration have completed the investigation into a deadly explosion at a Columbus paint plant.

The blast on April 8th at the Yenkin-Majestic plant on Leonard Avenue left one person dead, and two others injured.

Investigators determined the explosion was caused by a computer or equipment error, when an agitator in a 3,000-gallon kettle stopped working. The products being mixed caused a chemical reaction, creating heat and pressurizing the tank.

The pressure from the tank breached a gasket that surrounded an observation port into the kettle. The escaping gas then came in contact with an ignition source, causing the explosion.

The whole incident happened in less than two minutes, and most of the employees were able to make it out of the building before the blast.

OSHA officially ruled the cause an accident. CDF investigators found no evidence of criminal activity or intentional acts.

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