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Worker missing after explosion at Massachusetts chemical plant

Five workers were inside a Massachusetts chemical plant when It exploded early Thursday morning. One of the workers remains missing.
Debris from a building seen from the parking lot outside of the chemical plant
Posted at 9:07 AM, May 04, 2023

Firefighters in Newburyport, Massachusetts, are trying to find a missing worker after an explosion at a chemical plant early Thursday morning. 

The Newburyport Fire Department said in a statement that five workers were inside the building in an industrial park at the time of the explosion. Four managed to make it out. The four workers were treated at a hospital and released. 

The fire department said there is major structural damage to the building, preventing firefighters and technical rescue crews from entering to begin a search.

"Upon arrival crews saw heavy fire and smoke coming from the building and equipment that had blown through the roof in an adjacent parking lot," the Newburyport Fire Department said in a statement. "The building suffered significant structural damage, currently preventing firefighters and technical rescue crews from entering the building to conduct an extensive search. "

Firefighters reported seeing an industrial-sized vat from inside the building had moved about 30 feet because of the explosion, according to the fire department.

According to the address listed by firefighters, the building belongs to Seqens, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. A message has been left with the company. 

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on site, the fire department said.

Multiple local news outlets also reported the building was the site of explosions in February 2020. NBC Boston reported at the time that explosions tore a hole in the building’s roof. No one was seriously injured in that blast.