One dead after explosion at Ardmore asphalt plant
ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) -- One person was killed after an explosion and fire at an Ardmore asphalt plant on Friday morning.
Ardmore police Chief Kevin Norris said they began receiving calls around 10 a.m. concerning the blast at Asphalt Express Enterprises at 415 North Plainview Road on the city's west side, not far from the Michelin tire plant.
"Firefighters arrived on the scene and found heavy flames and smoke coming from the back of the compound ... where they stored a lot of their volatile chemicals," said Ardmore Fire Department spokesperson Jason Woydziak.
Thick black smoke rose from the scene and could be seen for miles around.
Norris confirmed that one person died in the blast; no identity was released. The chief said no one else was injured.
"We don't know what the cause of the fire is," Chief Norris said. "Right now that is under investigation, and then OSHA will come in and do an investigation."
He said it may be several months before the origin of the blast can be identified.
Concerned family members of employees were asked to meet officers stationed nearby at the car wash at Broadway and Plainview Road for help in contacting loved ones.
The fire was reported under control as of 12:45 p.m.
Phone calls to the company by the AP rang unanswered on Friday and neither the fire department nor emergency services immediately replied to messages seeking comment.
According to its website, Asphalt Express provides transportation, storage and sales of bulk liquids such as asphalt and various types of oil at the Ardmore plant.