2007 Barton Solvents explosion and fire: a look back

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POLK COUNTY, IOWA — The massive explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northern Illinois on Monday morning brings back unfortunate memories for some metro residents. 13 years ago – on October 29th, 2007 – a similar scene played out in Des Moines as the Barton Solvents plant exploded.

An investigation found that the fire was caused by a static electric shock at a tank filling station. It happened around 1:oo pm that day. A steel tank was being filled with ethyl acetate when a static spark ignited fumes. One employee suffered minor burns and a firefighter was treated for a heat-related injury.

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