Gov. Issues Disaster Declaration after Chemical Plant Blast

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has issued a disaster declaration after an explosion at a southeast Kansas chemical plant injured at least one person.

The declaration announced Wednesday allows the National Guard to help respond to Tuesday’s explosion at the Airosol Inc. plant in the 2,500-person town of Neodesha.

The effort includes providing bottled water to residents. Public water systems have been urged to close water intakes on the Verdigris River downstream from the plant to prevent contamination from substances used in the firefight.

The blast sent a male employee to a hospital with burns that weren’t considered life-threatening. The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office also is working to confirm reports that two others may have sustained minor injuries.

The plant manufactures and packages aerosol, liquid and other specialty chemicals.