ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Regional deliveries of Praxair (www.praxair.com) industrial specialty gases used for semiconductor and laboratory calibration, as well as nitrogen for the food-freezing industry, plus other industrial and medical gases, are returning to normal following explosions and fire that tore through the company’s distribution facility here in late June.
The company, based in Danbury, Connecticut, has set up a temporary staging area in Cahokia, Ill., where products from other Praxair facilities as well as independent distributors in the region are being shipped for delivery to its customers in the Midwest and beyond.
Before the June 24 disaster, the Praxair Distribution Inc. facility was dedicated to receiving a variety of industrial and medical gases delivered in bulk, with employees then transferring those gases into cylinders for customer needs. Twenty-two of the division’s 70 employees, as well as two customers, were in the plant at the time of the fire. All were evacuated safely.
The cause of the fire and explosions remains unknown, Praxair says, and it may be several weeks before the investigation is completed. An expert emergency-response team has been clearing the site of debris, including removing undamaged cylinders to other locations and using special equipment to empty and remove damaged cylinders.