T2 Laboratories explosion and fire

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Aerial view of T2 Laboratories, Inc., following explosion and fire

The T2 Laboratories explosion and fire occurred on December 19, 2007, in Jacksonville, Florida, resulting in the deaths of four people and the injury of fourteen others.[1][2] T2 Laboratories Inc. was a facility that specialized in the design and manufacture of specialty chemicals primarily for gasoline additives.[3][4]

The explosion's force was equivalent to detonating about a ton of TNT and it spread debris up to a mile from the plant.[5] Following the explosion, every hazardous-materials unit in Jacksonville and over 100 firefighters fought the ensuing blaze, which a spokesman termed a "hellish inferno".[2]

The blast killed Robert Scott Gallagher; Charles Budds Bolchoz, 48; Karey Renard Henry, 35; and Parrish Lamar Ashley, 36.[2] At the time of his death, Gallagher was Marketing Director for T2 Labs.[6] The company laid off its workers and shut down in the following months.[7] Fourteen people were hospitalized for chemical exposure or their injuries after the blast.[2]

In September 2009, a report was released by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board as to the cause of the accident.[8] The explosion occurred in a 2500 gallon batch reactor during production of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl. The reactor cooling system, which lacked backups, failed; this led to a thermal runaway.

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Coordinates: 30°26′02″N 81°34′05″W / 30.434°N 81.568°W / 30.434; -81.568