Plant explosion under investigation

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Officials say an explosion at the Blacklidge Emulsions plant in Gulfport is still under investigation.

No one was injured when a 40,000-gallon asphalt tank exploded around 6:15 p.m. Friday at the plant. Firefighters battled huge flames for more than two hours.

By 8:30 p.m., firefighters and an airport crash truck from the Air National Guard Base alternated spraying water on tanks.

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The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Power Company, American Medical Response, Harrison County Emergency Management and Gulfport police were at the scene.

Brooke Shoultz, a spokeswoman for Blacklidge, said only a few workers were at the plant when the tank exploded. Blacklidge Emulsions makes asphalt emulsions, binders, seal coats and specialty asphalt emulsions for the road paving industry.