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20 hurt in explosions, fire at upstate NY cosmetics factory

November 20, 2017
Associated Press

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. (AP) — Two explosions and a fire at a cosmetics factory about an hours' drive north of New York City left 20 people injured, including five firefighters caught in the second blast, authorities said Monday.

New Windsor police say the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory. Firefighters who responded were inside when the second explosion occurred at around 10:40 a.m.

Police said 15 employees were injured in addition to the five firefighters. The injured included a firefighter who was taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center, Green said. Officials said none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.

Crews battled the blaze into Monday afternoon. A man who answered the phone at one of the responding fire departments called the blaze a "five-alarm chemical fire with multiple counties helping."

Hazardous materials teams also responded, Green said.

"I don't believe at this point that it is completely under control," Green said.

Video obtained by WABC-TV in New York City showed thick, black smoke spewing from a section of the roof of the sprawling facility, which includes manufacturing and warehouse buildings. Workers milled about a parking lot while fire crews looked on.

There was no word on a cause of the blaze.

The factory is about a half-mile from the town hall and police station in New Windsor, on the Hudson River's west bank, 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of New York City. The 37-year-old New Windsor-based company's website says the products it makes include nail polish, perfumes, lotions and other products.

The company's phone number wasn't working. An email sent to the company wasn't answered.



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