Multiple giant explosions at a rural Alabama cleaning and recycling plant killed one worker and injured several others Monday afternoon, leaving fires that continued to burn in outlying buildings and an 18-wheeler through the night and into Thursday afternoon.
Authorities in the Bibb County said that the first blast occurred inside the Brent Industries facility around 1:45 p.m., setting off a chain of other blasts that rocked the small communities of Brent and Centreville like an earthquake.
The plant explosion killed one worker, identified by police and family members as 35-year-old Keith Leverette. Six other workers present in the company’s facilities received chemical burns, with at least one suffering from severe, extensive burns, authorities said.
The blasts occurred at Brent Industries, a company that cleans, reconditions, and recycles equipment and textiles used in the petroleum industry and other industries that handle hazardous materials. The company’s website says it also reclaims oil, solvents, and grease from contaminated materials.
Brent Industries is headquartered in Brent, Ala., and has operated a facility there since the 1970s. The company also has divisions in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.
Firefighters, paramedics, and other responders from several other municipalities and counties rushed to scene after the initial blast was reported. Workers from Alagasco and Alabama Power also responded, ABC affiliate Alabama’s 13 reported.
The Brent Industries explosion comes about five weeks after deadly explosion rocked another rural North Alabama factory. That blast occurred at the Ultratec fireworks plant in Owens Cross Roads, leaving two workers dead and injuring four others.