Chemical Explosion at OR Factory Injures Two, Fire Offical Says

A Thursday night explosion involving a chemical reactor at a silicon factory has injured two people, according to a Portland (OR) Fire Department spokesman.

Spokesman Paul Corah told the Associated Press (http://wapo.st/GJtJBi) that two men were doing maintenance near the chemical-combining reactor at Wacker Siltronics. Reports indicate the blast occurred when oxygen interacted with a substance called trichlorosilane.

The two men suffered respiratory problems and were taken to the hospital.

More than 40 Portland firefighters responded to the explosion. Two factory technicians and two Portland Fire hazmat technicians assessed the reactor's condition.

The Portland explosion was one of a handful of recent industrial incidents around the United States, including one in Louisiana and another in North Carolina. For more on working with industrial fire brigades, consider Industrial and Municipal Fire Department Interface, When Worlds Collide: Industrial and Residential Occupancies, November Roundtable: Training with Industrial Fire Brigades, and Preparing to Respond to Industrial Facilities.

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