UPDATE: Henderson facility with history of explosions investigated for air quality violations

UPDATE ON JAN. 26: 13 Action News has obtained a 65-page report detailing a months-long investigation about the inner workings of the Timet plant near Lake Mead Parkway and Water Street.

In July 2016, Clark County Air Quality paid an unannounced visit and reviewed two years worth of operations. Inspectors noted a number of problems:

  • Timet created an unapproved 14-acre landfill on site to dump material
  • On 24 separate occasions, Timet sent nearly double the allowable amount of air contaminant into the air related to their chlorination process, magnesium recovery, and purification process
  • Inspectors noticed monthly maintenance records and other important documents were not kept for Timet's cooling towers and emergency generator

Clark County recommended nearly $50,000 in fines in May of 2017. Timet settled the fines and was ordered to pay $34,000.

Investigators are still evaluating the cause of the explosion on Thursday, and they have up to six months to slap on any fines.

ORIGINAL STORY

HENDERSON (KTNV) -- Henderson Fire Department is confirming an explosion occurred around 8:15 a.m. at the Timet facility on 181 North Water Street, near East Lake Mead Parkway.

The explosion happened during the magnesium molding process and was contained in the facility.

Two minor injuries were reported at the scene today but no hazardous materials were released due to the incident.

A nearby resident said the explosion was loud and shook her house. 

This isn't the first time magnesium caused an explosion at the plant. In 1998, 1,000 pounds of magnesium triggered an explosion and fire at the Timet plant that sent caused flames and sparks to shoot into the air.

The fire lasted three hours on that day in 1998, but thankfully a fire wasn't sparked by today's incident.

On May 4, 1988, a series of explosions rattled a separate plant, known as PEPCON, and the surrounding area. The blasts killed two employees and injured more than 300 others. NASA released a report on the explosion. Video from the 1988 incident is below. 

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