New Windsor, N.Y. – An explosion ripped through a cosmetics factory last week, killing one worker, injuring dozens more, including 7 firefighters following a second explosion inisde the building. Authorities say two of the firefighters were transferred to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center.
Firefighters and hazmat teams continued to battle the fire at Verla International Ltd., which was fueled by flammable and combustible chemicals used in the manufacture of perfume, nail polish, lotion and other beauty products – throughout the day and into the night.
The facility has been cited three times by OSHA since 2012, including violations related to the storage of flammable and combustible liquids, respiratory protection, and sanitation.
According to reports, N.Y. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has launched a multi-agency investigation into working conditions at Verla International. The investigation follows the state’s response to the chemical explosion and fire at the company, and will examine worker safety, conditions and compliance with state environmental regulations at the plant. Cuomo has directed the Department of Labor, Department of State and Department of Environmental Conservation to lead this investigation into overall compliance at Verla International.
The N.Y. Department of Labor (DOL) will dispatch worker safety and health experts to the facility to determine if any asbestos is present on-site or a malfunction in any of the plant’s three boilers contributed to the incident. Additionally, the department will coordinate with OSHA to interview workers and assist with any OSHA investigation.