One worker killed, two injured, in fire at AERT extrusion plant

Published: July 18, 2013 12:45 pm ET
Updated: July 18, 2013 7:04 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Construction, Sustainability, Pipe/Profile/Tubing, Recycling, Extrusion, Deck & railing
Companies & Associations Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc.

One employee was killed and two others injured in a July 17 fire at an Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. plant in Springdale, Ark.

Matthew Chwirka died early July 18 at Mercy Burn Center in Springfield, Missouri, from injuries sustained in the fire, according to a statement from AERT.

One employee, Howard Marshall, is in stable condition in at an area burn unit; and one was treated and released July 17, according to an AERT statement July 18.

The extrusion plant is currently closed and an investigation is ongoing.

“Our greatest sympathy is with the family and friends of the employee who lost his life, and with those who sustained injuries,” said Tim Morrison, AERT’s president, in the statement. “We are providing support to families and associates to help them through this very difficult time.”

AERT officials were not immediately available for comment on July 18.

The fire broke out at the facility around 2:40 p.m. and was contained a few hours later, according to local news reports.

The plant appears to have sustained minimal damage, according to AERT.

In a July 17 statement, AERT said the cause of the fire was unknown.

According to a report from KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Ark., fire officials believe a flash fire started in a mixer during production.

AERT operates several facilities in Springdale, also home of the company’s headquarters. The company makes composite building materials, like wood-plastic decking, from recycling polyethylene plastics. Its product lines include ChoiceDek and MoistureShield.

The company had sales of $74.6 million in 2012.

The blaze is far from AERT’s first. According to local news reports, a dust explosion blew the roof off a silo at another AERT Springdale plant last year. A Springdale plant also saw a minor fire in 2008.

An AERT facility in Junction, Texas, was destroyed by fire in early 2003. From 1993-1997, five fires were reported at AERT facilities. Two of those fires, in 1996, were arson.


Comments

One worker killed, two injured, in fire at AERT extrusion plant

Published: July 18, 2013 12:45 pm ET
Updated: July 18, 2013 7:04 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

FTC warns bag makers to take care before making biodegradeability claims

October 23, 2014 12:30 pm ET

Makers of oxodegradable or oxo-biodegradable plastic bags should consider themselves on notice, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.    More

Image

Geist Plastics changes name to Lincoln Plastics

October 23, 2014 12:31 pm ET

Custom profile extruder Geist Plastics Inc. is changing its name to Lincoln Plastics, the company announced Oct. 23.    More

Image

Packaging specialist Amcor hits sustainability goals ahead of schedule

October 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Global packaging company Amcor Ltd. has achieved its waste reduction goals two years ahead of schedule, according to the company's new sustainability ...    More

Image

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Image

Unilever uses foaming in new bottle

October 22, 2014 1:35 pm ET

Foaming is a good alternative to thin-walling for reducing plastic use in consumer goods packaging, according to a Unilever plastics expert.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events