According to WRDW, two workers were injured, and one was killed at the scene of an explosion at a welding plant.
Augusta Fire Chief Chris James said that the explosion occurred as a result of a welding accident at DSM Resins on 1472 Columbia Nitrogen Drive in Augusta.
The two injured workers, who were identified as contractors and not employees of DSM, were taken to a local hospital to receive treatment and decontamination from the chemical exposure.
DSM Resins, a plant that produces powder-coat resins for paint, is just one component of a huge industrial complex that includes the recently-closed Fibrant caprolactam plant, formerly owned by DSM.
The victim who did not survive the explosion was identified as Steven Gonsalves, 29, of Beech Island. He was pronounced dead at the scene around 1:10 PM, according to coroner Mark Bowen.
Gonsalves was transported to GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta to receive an autopsy. OSHA has also been notified of the incident.
The Richmond County Coroner’s Office is investigating Gonsalves’s death, and further investigations into the explosion are pending. It’s still unclear what cause the explosion, but the resulting fire caused its fair share of damage.
The combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in all buildings could reduce overall injuries, loss of life, and property damage by at least 50%, and even though worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.4 per 100 in 2011 — this incident serves as a reminder to all workers, regardless of occupation, of the importance of staying safe on the job.
Chief James has stated that there are no known further dangers at the time. Firefighters remained on the scene until the fire was fully extinguished. There was no need for an evacuation, and no other residents or businesses need to take any preventative or protective actions.
Wednesday around 4:15 p.m., DSM Resins released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred today at the DSM site in Augusta. Our thoughts are with the family of the man who suffered a fatal injury as well as the two men who were injured in the accident. Based on current information these were contractors working on site not DSM employees. Local authorities are in on site conducting an investigation and this matter will be fully investigated by DSM as well. We do not currently have definitive information to share concerning the cause of the accident and it would be inappropriate to speculate at this time. As soon as such definitive information is available we will provide it.”