Suzanne Kreiter / Globe Staff
A multi-agency task force will be assembled to probe Sunday night's explosion at a chemical plant in Middleton that heavily damaged a company that makes sealants, officials said this morning.
State Fire Marshal Steve Coan said today he has notified the US Chemical Safety Board about the explosion at the Bostik Inc. plant. He said he expects state troopers from his office will join investigators from the Middleton fire and police departments, state public safety officials, and officials from the federal Occupational Safety and Health administration.
Officials said four workers sustained injuries that were not life-threatening in the explosion and four-alarm fire. The blast could be heard and felt for miles in neighboring communities.
"We are putting together a multi-agency team to look into the cause of the explosion," Coan said this morning. "The investigators will interview workers, view the building where the majority of damage occurred. It will be a while before we know exactly what happened."
Coan said hazardous materials teams monitoring the plant site throughout the night have determined there are "no airborne chemical issues at this point, using several different meters, but they will continue monitoring the air."
The fire marshal said most of the damage to the plant at 211 Boston St. was focused in a building where people were working at the time of the explosion at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
"We know the workers inside the building were involved in some chemical process activity but we have no idea what caused this," said Coan. "Most of the exterior walls were blown away. There was a lot of debris. Other buildings in the plant sustained window damage."
Bostik is a sealant and adhesive manufacturer, according to its website.
Coan said the the state's hazmat team conducted a drill at the plant last May and that helped the responding firefighters and technicians because they were familiar with the layout of the facility.
Coan said the Middleton case is not the same as a chemical explosion that ripped through a Danvers neighborhood on Nov. 22, 2006. Damage in Middleton has been limited to the chemical plant while the Danvers case destroyed numerous homes and commercial buildings.
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