Seven employees at Sun Chemical’s US Ink Plant, located in East Rutherford NJ, were transported to Hackensack University Medical Center following what appears to have been an explosion or flash fire in the pre-mix room of the plant at approximately 1:20 EDT on Oct. 9, 2012.
According to an emergency trauma physician at Hackensack University Medical Center, five workers are in fair condition at Hackensack and two others have been transported to the burn unit at St. Barnabas. Sun Chemical human resource personnel are providing any support needed by the families of the employees.
“We will cooperate 100 percent with East Rutherford Fire Department Fire Official Dennis Monks in order to conduct a full investigation. We must determine the actual root cause of this incident so that we can take any possible steps to prevent it from happening again. The safety of our people is too important,” said Gary M. Andrzejewski, Sun Chemical Corporation corporate vice president for environmental affairs. “Speculating about what happened would do a disservice to the accuracy of any investigation.”
The plant makes black newspaper printing ink by blending carbon black with other components.
“Sun Chemical, like every responsible member of the chemical industry, cannot and will not speculate on the cause of an incident like this until a full root-cause investigation is completed,” Mr. Andrzejewski said. “At this time we cannot rule out any possible causal factor.”
Sun Chemical’s top process safety manager is en route to the plant to lead the investigation for the company.
The incident and subsequent fire suppression water was completely contained inside the plant building itself. There was no danger to anyone offsite, nor any external contamination or environmental impact as a result.