East Liverpool business explosion spreads ash city-wide - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

East Liverpool business explosion spreads ash city-wide

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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio - Officials at Heritage Thermal Services say it was an accident in the plant that sent a large cloud of ash drifting over the East End area of East Liverpool.

21 News reporter Glenn Stevens was the only local reporter inside the plant on Monday, and says clean-up from the Saturday incident is continuing and the EPA is looking into what happened.

Residue from the falling ash is still visible on cars and houses on several streets in the East End of the city.

Alex Tambellini, 13, was on the deck of his uncle's house overlooking the Ohio River when he noticed the ash cloud and took these pictures.

The cloud appeared to be a couple of hundred feet in the air.

"We couldn't see where it fell, you could just see it coming down toward the east end from up here," says Tambellini.

Another East Liverpool resident, Linda Zeigler, was home at the time and saw the ash come down.

"It was like rain; like a sheet of rain coming down all over the river and the neighborhood," says Zeigler.

Heritage Thermal Services spokesman Raymond Wayne says that during the routine incineration process a large amount of ash fell off the inter walls of the 44-foot-long kiln.

"Ash that coats the inside of the incinerator unit fell in to a Quench 20,000 gallon tank of water, much more than the system was designed to handle, and it caused a massive expansion and pressure release," says Wayne.

That expansion of pressure blew the ash cloud into the air. Wayne says the company is working closely with both the state and federal EPA to determine what the ash contained.

Samples have been taken from the community and residents are saying they want to know exactly what was in the smoke and what the company is going to do to clean up the community.

Wayne says the plant is now in a previously scheduled shutdown for maintenance, which will last until the end of the month.

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