13 hurt in blasts, fire at upstate NY cosmetics factory
New Windsor, N.Y. – Two explosions and a fire at a cosmetics factory in the Hudson Valley about an hour north of New York City left 13 people injured, including five firefighters caught in the second blast, authorities said Monday.
New Windsor town Supervisor George Green told The Associated Press that the first explosion occurred around 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory. He said firefighters who responded to the scene were inside when the second explosion occurred.
The injured included a firefighter who was taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center, Green said. Officials said none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.
Crews battled the blaze into Monday afternoon. A man who answered the phone at one of the local fire departments called the blaze a “five-alarm chemical fire with multiple counties helping.”
Fire crews from across Orange County and from neighboring counties responded, along with hazardous materials teams, Green said.
“I don’t believe at this point that it is completely under control,” Green said.
Video obtained by WABC-TV in New York City 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.
There was no word on a cause.
The factory is located about a half mile from the town hall and police station in New Windsor, on the Hudson River’s west bank 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of New York City.