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Explosion, fire at MGP plant rocks Atchison on Friday night

Posted at 11:58 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 13:39:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nobody was hurt in an explosion Friday night at the MGP Ingredients plant in Atchison.

The explosion happened about 8:15 p.m. at the plant, which is located at 100 Commercial Street.

Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson said there was no danger to the public and confirmed that no one was injured.

Emergency crews did not have to evacuate anyone, Wilson said.

Firefighters worked to put out a grain fire burning near the explosion site, Wilson said, and traffic was diverted from the area around the plant.

MGP issued a statement on Saturday about the fire.

"An explosion and fire occurred Friday evening in the operations facility at MGP Ingredients, Inc., in Atchison. There were no injuries. We are assessing the damage this morning and trying to determine the cause of the fire, which is unknown at this time," said a spokesperson with the company.

According to the company's website, MGP Ingredients started in 1`941 as a grain belt distillery. The company has gone on to become a leading supplier of premium distilled spirits as well as specialty wheat proteins and starches.

This isn't the first issue at the plant, which was the site of a toxic chemical release four years ago.

More than 100 people wound up at hospitals and many others were evacuated or told to stay inside after a chemical mix up on Oct. 16, 2016, at the plant released a cloud of chlorine gas over Atchison.

The Chemical Safety Board spent six months investigating the incident.

The investigation found a Harcos Chemical truck came to the MGP plant to deliver sulfuric acid. The board's statement said the investigation found the truck driver should have unloaded sulfuric acid into the sulfuric acid tank, but instead put it into an unlocked hypochlorite line.

Harcos and MGP Ingredients each paid $1 million fines in May 2020 for violating the federal Clean Air Act.