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Violent Newburyport, Massachusetts Chemical Plant Explosion Kills One, Injures Four

Posted on June 26, 2023 in

A catastrophic chemical plant explosion occurred at the Newburyport, Massachusetts Seqens facility, taking the life of the overnight shift supervisor at the facility. In addition, four other workers on duty at the time of the Massachusetts chemical plant explosion were taken to an area hospital for treatment. These workers appear to have all been released.

The worker killed as a result of the Seqens chemical plant explosion has been identified as Jack O’Keefe, a 61-year-old who has worked at the facility for an extended period of time. Search and recovery operations took over 17 hours because of the extensive debris field and other damage caused by the violent explosion. Multiple agencies were involved in the search and recovery operation, including the Coast Guard.

The Seqens facility itself has suffered extensive damage. There is no indication as of this time as to when the Newburyport chemical plant will be back in operation.

Debris Rains Down on Surrounding Businesses

The Seqen chemical plant explosion was so powerful that debris rained down on surrounding businesses. Damage to these surrounding businesses has yet to be fully assessed. There are no reports of injuries to people outside of the facility.

Officials have announced that the air quality has not been substantially impacted by the explosion. In other words, officials advised that there is no airborne health risk as a result of the blast. With that said, officials have also announced that environmental assessment and cleanup crews are also considering what, if any, impact the explosion as had on streams near the facility.

Seqens Responds to Fatal Massachusetts Chemical Plant Explosion

A spokesperson for Seqens spokesperson issued a statement in the aftermath of the deadly blast at the Massachusetts chemical plant:

We are deeply saddened to report that a long-time member of our family died during the accident. The entire group and its employees are extremely shocked by this accident. At this tragic moment, all our thoughts and prayers are with our friend and colleague and his family during this difficult time. The safety of our employees has always been, and continues to be, our top priority. We strive to follow best practices and regulatory guidelines and have implemented safety protocols and procedures to prevent incidents like this from occurring. We are fully committed to working closely with the authorities and relevant agencies to determine the cause of the incident. Again, we want to thank the first responders for their quick work and renew our support for the family.

According to the Seqens company website, the company is involved in the manufacture of pharmaceutical solutions. In addition, the company manufactures what it calls “specialty ingredients” for pharmaceutical products as well.

Past Explosions and OSHA Violations at Seqens Massachusetts Chemical Plant

Unfortunately, this 2023 explosion at the Massachusetts chemical plant is not the first incident of its kind in recent years. According to Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, in 2020 firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the Seqens chemical plant in response to multiple explosions at the facility. No one was injured in the 2020 incident; however, the blast left a gaping hole in the roof of the Seqens facility. Officials identified the cause of the 2020 blast as a chemical reaction in a storage drum that caused it to explode upward and through the roof of the building.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sanctioned Seqens for the 2020 Massachusetts chemical plant explosion, ordering the company to pay $28,000 in fines. That same year, the pharmaceutical solutions and specialty ingredients company was also ordered by OSHA to pay a fine in the amount of $8,000 for what the agency classified as “serious violations” at the Newburyport chemical plant. In 2019, Seqens agreed to pay OSHA $50,000 for six violations at the Massachusetts facility.

Legal Rights Following Chemical Plant Explosion Accident

If you or a loved one have been injured in a chemical plant explosion accident, contact The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000. A nationwide law firm, we can schedule a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation with an experienced chemical plant explosion accident at any one of our offices across the state of Texas and around the country. The Doan Law Firm charges no attorney fee unless we when your case for you.