Official: Mechanical failure caused food lab blast

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Associated Press

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 3 at 10:04 PM

TOTOWA, N.J. (AP) — A fire official says a mechanical failure apparently caused two explosions at a food laboratory in northern New Jersey, leaving two workers with cuts and bruises.

Totowa Fire Marshal Allen Del Vecchio tells The Star-Ledger (http://bit.ly/1mcP22T ) he felt the blast from Pharmachem Laboratories in Totowa at his house a mile away.

Pharmachem produces ingredients that flavor foods. Workers say they had just started on a new recipe for eggnog when the blast occurred.

Del Vecchio says the first explosion apparently came from a furnace-like device that was heating a vat containing eggnog flavoring ingredients. A subsequent blast apparently involved a pocket of hot air or gas that had built up inside the vat.

The entire rear of the building was blown out.

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Information from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com

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