300,000 gallons of molten glass spills after rupture at Ohio plant

(Courtesy: MGN)

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Emergency and environmental agencies are assessing the damage left from a massive spill of molten glass caused by a rupture at a manufacturing plant in Zanesville, Ohio.

The incident happened at the Owens-Illinois plant on Monday around 2 p.m.

Fire officials said a hole at the bottom of a 10' x 10' tank caused the furnace tank to rupture, leading to 300 tons of molten glass to spill out into the factory. The facility has a containment pit, but it didn't hold the entire spill, which ran across the plant floor.

No one was injured.

Investigators are unsure of the structural damage or cause, but said the furnace is a complete loss and the electrical system was burnt. The glass has also reportedly hardened inside the plant.

The EMA and EPA are on scene testing water for contaminants as officials said some water did run into the sewer system.

The plant, which supplies bottles for Jack Daniels Distillery, Jim Beam, and Diageo (a company that owns several brands of alcoholic products, including Guinness and Hennessy) remains open as another furnace is still running and operating.

A spokesperson for Owens-Illinois released a statement as well:

O-I’s Zanesville plant experienced a leak in one of our glass-melting furnaces. All employees followed proper safety protocols and no one was injured. O-I appreciates the assistance of local fire crews in responding to the incident, which was quickly contained. Production at the plant has been partially impacted by the furnace leak, and we are still assessing the extent of the damage and the necessary repairs to get back up and running at full capacity.

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