One person injured in Travelers Rest plant explosion

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TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – One person was injured in an explosion at a Travelers Rest textile plant on Monday.

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group IncThe explosion occurred at Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc., located at 19 Page Court, around 2:30 p.m.

Firefighters with the Travelers Rest Fire Department, EMS personnel and the Greenville County Emergency Response Team (ERT) responded to the scene.

One employee was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital after suffering chemical and thermal burns to approximately 20 percent of his head and upper body, according to initial reports.

Travelers Rest Fire Chief Richard Johnson said the explosion was caused by a rupture in a chamber in a steam-powered dying machine and resulted in significant structural damage.

"It was a force that caused a large amount of damage inside the plant," Johnson said.

The plant was evacuated, and gas, water and power were cut off to the building due to safety concerns.

Hazardous materials specialists with the ERT, including personnel from Donaldson Center, Belmont, Wade Hampton and Greenville City Fire Departments, tested samples taken from inside the plant and concluded there was no danger of a chemical release, Johnson said.

"The Greenville County Emergency Response Team did a fantastic job in assisting us to see what kind of chemicals we had in the building," he said. "They sent their resources and their people and made everything go much smoother."

Due to the damage caused by the explosion, the plant is closed while repairs are made.

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