See traffic camera footage of the paint plant explosion in the player above.
COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After more than six months, an investigation has found the cause of a deadly explosion at a paint plant off Leonard Avenue.
A release from the Columbus Division of Fire announced that after working with the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), National Chemical Safety Board, and the Ohio EPA they have concluded their part of the investigation which focused on the cause and origin of an explosion that happened just after midnight, April 8, at the Yenkin-Majestic plant located at 1920 Leonard Ave.
The investigation found a computer or equipment malfunction led to the explosion and resulting fire, which left one person dead and several others injured.
According to the investigation, an employee at the plant was monitoring operations at a 3,000 gallon kettle that is used to mix products, when at some point an agitator that kept the products cool, by constantly mixing them, stopped working.
This caused the mixed products to have a chemical reaction, which created heat and pressurized the tank until the pressure breached the gasket that surrounded an observation port into the kettle.
“A highly flammable gas in the form of steam or vapor was released into the kettle room and filled the second floor where it had originated and continued to expand to the first floor. At some point the gas came into contact with an ignition source and the result was an explosion,” the report reads.
Most employees were able to exit the building after the explosion, according to the report, but three did not. One employee died in the explosion and two others had to be removed from the building by firefighters.
The Columbus Division of Fire announced there was no evidence of a criminal or intentional act in connection with the explosion, and no charges have been filed.