Cortec Blast Injures Two


An explosion and fire at Cortec Corp.s corrosion inhibitor plant in Spooner, Wis., yesterday injured two workers and caused a limited evacuation of local area residents and businesses.

According to a Wisconsin State Patrol report, an explosion and fire broke out at 8:43 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Cortec Spray Technology Division plant which manufactures vapor phase corrosion inhibitors that serve as additives for lubricants and fuels, aerosol products and paint solvents. The explosions impact destroyed much of the building.

At this point, the cause of the fire is undetermined, Lori Getter, a spokeswoman for Wisconsin Emergency Management, told Lube Report.

The incident sent two employees with burn-related injuries to a local area hospital, said Spooner Health System spokeswoman Cindy Rouzer. They have since been transferred to another medical facility, she said. The other four workers in the building at the time of the explosion were uninjured.

A number of state and local agencies responded to the emergency to ensure no air or groundwater contamination occurred, according to the report. Air monitoring is also being conducted, with preliminary tests showing little or no contamination in the area.

Local traffic was snarled, and some highways in the vicinity were shut down as law enforcement ordered an evacuation for residents and businesses approximately one-half mile north and east of the facility.

At this time, the Cortec Spray Technology Division plant is closed for investigation. It is located in northwestern Wisconsin, one of several plants in Wisconsin and Minnesota owned by St. Paul, Minn.-based Cortec Corp., a manufacturer of biodegradable vapor phase corrosion inhibitors that serve packaging, metalworking, construction, electronics, water treatment, oil and gas and other industries.

Cortec Vice Chief Executive Officer Anna Vignetti could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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