Worker killed in ‘violent explosion’ at Newburyport manufacturing facility

NEWBURYPORT, Mass — Emergency crews recovered the body of a missing worker after a ‘violent explosion’ at a Newburyport pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. His body was recovered around 5:30 p.m

The deceased worker is a Methuen man, according to a Boston 25 News source.

The man killed was one of five who were in the building at the time of the explosion. All workers are now accounted for, officials say. The other four workers were taken to local hospitals, where they were treated and released.

Firefighters in Newburyport responded to Seqens, a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at 9 Opportunity Way early Thursday morning.

According to Newburyport Fire, the explosion happened just after 12:45 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews saw heavy fire and smoke coming from the building. They saw an industrial-sized vat from inside the building had moved about 30 feet because of the explosion and caused it to land in a nearby parking lot.

There was major structural damage to the building, preventing firefighters and rescue crews from going inside until Thursday evening.

Video obtained by Boston 25 News captures the moment the building exploded, blasting roaring flames that lit up the night sky.

Viewer video sent to Boston 25 by Newbury resident Justin Williams shows what he says is the explosion lighting up the night sky around a mile away. Moments after, a powerful boom can be heard washing over the house.

Fire crews said there is no danger to area residents, but the police department is asking people who work in this industrial park to avoid Opportunity Way while crews remain on the scene.

Air meters set up around the scene’s perimeter did not find any hazardous materials in the air.

The fire chief says they plan to begin entering the building shortly. The roof and walls are compromised. Emergency crews are expected to remain at the scene the rest of the day and likely into Friday.

This is the same building where a series of explosions happened in February 2020. Several explosions occurred at PCI Synthesis. No injuries were reported in that incident.

“We’ve been here before and I’ll just let you know it’s in the same area, but It’s all under investigation with the State Fire Marshal’s Office,” said Newburyport Fire Chief Steve Bradbury.

Bradbury calls this a “violent explosion’ and it is not safe to go inside the building.

The cause of the blast is still under investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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