Explosion at Umatilla Co. Potato Chip Factory
UPDATE STATEMENT FROM FIRE DEPARTMENT:
Umatilla County Sheriff's Office and other first responders are on scene of a reported explosion at Shearer's Foods off Highway 207 in Hermiston. Employees of Shearer's Foods called 911 and reported a boiler explosion with possible injuries. Medical and Fire units have been dispatched and are on scene. Law enforcement agencies are assisting on scene as well. Union Pacific Railroad was notified to close down traffic on the nearby rail line. ODOT was notified for closure of access on Highway 207 from I-8 and Feedville RD. Nearby residences south of the incident, including PanelView RV Park and occupants at the Space Age and Comfort Inn have been placed on standby for possible evacuation due to air quality from the smoke plume. Currently the plume is at a high enough altitude that there is not a need for evacuation yet due to visibility or air quality. AT THIS TIME WE ARE ASKING THE PUBLIC TO AVOID THE AREA. This incident is on-going, so updates will be posted as appropriate.
(Hermiston, OR) -- Fire crews and ambulances are at the scene of an apparent explosion at the Shearer's Foods factory located near Interstates 82 and 84 just outside of Hermiston, OR. Early reports indicate a potato chip boiler exploded at the factory, and so far seven injuries have been reported. It's not clear just how serious that injury is. Umatilla County Fire says there are working to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings.
Photo Credit: Neal Miller