The U.S. Chemical Safety Board provided its first update in its investigation of an explosion that occurred at a Columbus paint factory early Thursday morning.
The incident caused a building in the Yenkin-Majestic Paint factory’s OPC Polymer unit to collapse and resulted in more than $1 million in property damage, according to Chemical Safety Board’s Friday evening update.
The casualties of the explosion include one fatality, five hospitalizations and four non-serious injuries, according to the CSB. (A fire official earlier in the week said there was one fatality and eight injuries.) The Near East Side company has 180 employees, 21 of which were working in the 1920 Leonard Ave. facility at the time of the explosion.
The body of Wendell Light, 44, of Heath, was found around 9:15 a.m. and was partially covered in rubble inside the collapsed building, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said earlier this week. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The OPC Polymer Unit — which is separate from the company’s paint and industrial coatings divisions — was operating normally at the time of the incident, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) report.
As of Friday, two CSB investigators had arrived in Columbus to look into the explosion. The Chemical Safety Board is coordinating its activities with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The CSB is a federal agency that investigates and makes recommendations after chemical incidents. The agency does not issue citations or levy fines with its investigations.
By law, OSHA has six months to issue a citation following a violation. Safety inspections at Yenkin-Majestic Paints, in 2011, 2012 and 2015 resulted in serious violations and fines being levied against the company, records from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration show.