Several people were injured Monday morning after a chemical explosion at a Grand Junction industrial plan. The accident happened at around 9:00 AM at CAPCO in the 1300 block of Winters Avenue just as the work day was getting started and forced the evacuation of the entire building.
CAPCO has contributed to the nation's military for the past 30 years, making everything from modification kits for rifles to bomb components. According to the Grand Junction Fire Department, as well as a representative of CAPCO, the exact cause of the accident was still under investigation, Monday.
However, the explosion and the fire that followed is believed to have been sparked during the measuring of chemicals.
According to fire officials, the explosion occurred when an employee was handling Potassium Perchlorate, a water soluble oxidizer which is used in the manufacturing of explosives, and used by CAPCO to make missile counter–measures for American fighter jets.
About a dozen employees in the vicinity of the explosion were able to put out a small secondary fire. The Grand Junction Fire Department responded with 8 units and about two dozen emergency personnel and the building was evacuated with precision.
Three people were taken to Saint Mary's Hospital for minor injuries, and a Coca-Cola warehouse was transformed into a triage area where 11 others were treated on–scene for exposure as well as shock.
CAPCO employees who were treated on the scene were given a layer of extra clothing to wear to protect emergency workers,
and with the small amount of Potassium Perchlorate used, there was no cause for concern.
There was about $3–4,000 worth of damage, however the site of the explosion was in a remote part of the building, allowing employees to return to work about an hour after being evacuated.
© KKCO NBC 11 News - All Rights Reserved