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Two workers hurt in explosion at Ivex foam plant

By: Frank Esposito

January 28, 2013

SIDNEY, OHIO -- Two workers were injured Jan. 25 in an explosion and fire at a plastic foam plant operated by Ivex Protective Packaging Inc. in Sidney, Ohio.

The two workers were treated for minor burns and released from an area hospital, Sidney Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Cameron Haller said. Only four employees were in the plant when the explosion took place shortly before 11 p.m., Haller added in a Jan. 28 phone interview.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation, and the plant remained out of operation on Jan. 28. Officials with Ivex in Sidney and at the firm's headquarters in Lachine, Quebec, announced Jan. 28 that the company's would not experience any supply chain interruptions as a result of the incident.

"Due to our contingency supply arrangements, we are confident that we will be able to meet our customers' delivery requirements on an ongoing basis," said Paul Gaulin, Ivex's president and CEO, in a news release.

Sidney firefighters had the fire under control within an hour, Haller said. Damage to the 68,000-square-foot building was estimated at $450,000. The plant – which makes polyethylene foam and air bubble cushioning – opened in 2005 as ProtecPac, which later changed its name to Ivex.

Ivex said the fire and explosion took place at the smaller of two manufacturing facilities it operates in Sidney. Only part of the Stolle Ave. production facility — the PE foam sheet extrusion line -- was affected. The facility also houses a foam plank converting operation that was not impacted.

Gaulin called the plant "a state-of-the art facility which utilized a sophisticated gas detector and an updated sprinkler system.

"We are in the process of determining the cause of the explosion so that we can address the issue and get the production line running as quickly as possible," Gaulin said in the release.

The plant employs 19 production workers, with six dedicated to that line.

Ivex also has a 100,000 square foot facility on Campbell Street in Sidney, which manufactures air cushioning, protective mailers, and another conversion line. That facility was not in close proximity to the other and is continuing to operate.