Valve malfunction may be to blame for Seward explosion - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Valve malfunction may be to blame for Seward explosion

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SEWARD (WREX) -

Nova-Kem officials say a valve malfunction may be to blame for a fire and explosion that evacuated residents within a two-mile radius of the Seward plant.

Although officials believe the malfunction was the culprit, they still have to wait for an investigation to be completed for a final answer. A representative for the State Fire Marshal's Office says the situation was an accident stemming from a spill caused by the malfunctioning valve.

OSHA was on site on Monday, but representatives have not officially determined a cause. The agency has six months to finish its investigation into the matter. The building is not currently structurally sound, so officials have to wait for an engineer to investigate and make it safe for people to enter.

Residents were evacuated early Sunday afternoon and were not allowed back into their homes until around 3:00 p.m. Monday. One employee suffered minor injuries.

Nova-Kem makes a chemical used in the production of memory chips for electronic devices.

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