Last week, an explosion and subsequent chemical fire rocked the township of Upper Mount Bethel in Pennsylvania. The explosion occurred at Voltaix, a manufacturer of special chemicals for the semi-conductor and solar-cell manufacturing industries. Thankfully, no injuries were reported in the explosion and evacuations were not necessary.

Voltaix CEO, Pete Smith, said that the incident began in a 10,000-gallon storage tank and was contained to that tank. He explained that the fire occurred when 1,000 gallons of excess solvent was being placed into the storage tank. The tank, which is fully automated, is supposed to be airtight. But Smith indicated that air somehow got into the tank while the plant was using a new process to store the solvent. This caused the explosion, dislodged the lid of the tank, and resulted in a fire. Employees worked to contain the fire and cool the tank with water until fire departments arrived and extinguished the fire with foam.

The Voltaix facility, which opened in 2012, sits on over 25 acres and consists of a three-building, 40,000 square-foot campus in Portland Industrial Park. The facility employs approximately 20 people.