One person died and more than 30 people injured when an explosion occurred at Verla International, a Hudson Valley cosmetics factory. Four firefighters are among those injured. The person who died was an employee of the company. One person, who was missing for a number of hours, was found near the scene of the accident during the evening. Law enforcement, however, has not released the identity of this person.
Fire and smoke
The fire started in the morning around 10 am. The location was Verla International factory located on the Temple Hill Road. Officials said two explosions rocked the factory. The incident included an initial blast, closely followed by a fire. These two resulted in a secondary explosion. The latter occurred when the firefighters arrived at the incident site. Office employees recall a loud sound and the building shaking. They ran along with the other employees and quickly evacuated the building. The smoke caused many employees to fall ill. Many made makeshift masks using bandanas to cover their faces from the thick gray and black smoke. This solution, however, was not suitable for all. One woman employee collapsed as a result of inhaling the acrid smoke.
According to local media, the smoke continued to come out of the factory for a long time. One of the injured firefighters was the fire lieutenant of Newburgh. According to his wife, the explosion brought down a wall. The incident resulted in the fracturing of his ankle. She said that she was thankful for such a comparatively minor injury as the outcome could have been much worse.
Injury and second explosion
According to authorities, a total of seven firefighters were injured. The injuries occurred due to an explosion. This happened after the firefighters have already arrived at the accident scene. Two firefighters were taken by ambulance to Westchester. According to officials, they suffered severe burn injuries. However, none of the injuries were assessed by doctors to be life threatening.
According to fire officials, the first responders did not anticipate a second explosion. The Fire Commissioner of Orange County, Vini Tankalisi, said that his department personnel were searching for causes of the explosion. Officials soon swung into action, ordering a shelter half a mile away from the facility. There were concerns about chemicals being stored in the factory. The unit manufactures perfume, nail polish, and lipstick.