Governor Cuomo Dispatches Emergency Response Personnel And Calls For Full Investigation Of Chemical Explosion In New Windsor

State Police Superintendent, DEC, DHSES, and DOH Commissioners On Site Along with Emergency Response Staff from Multiple State Agencies.

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Photo by: Military_Material

Albany, NY - November 20, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today dispatched emergency response personnel and resources following a chemical explosion at Verla International Warehouse in New Windsor, Orange County. Following the explosion, State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, State Police Superintendent George Beach II, State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and resources from their respective agencies responded and are currently on site working in conjunction with local officials.
"In response to the chemical explosion and fire that occurred this morning in New Windsor, I am directing state emergency response teams to assist local officials in the response efforts in any way necessary," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge residents in the immediate area to monitor the situation and follow direction from local law enforcement."
At approximately 10:15 a.m. today, a large fire was reported at the commercial cosmetic company, located at 463 Temple Hill Road. The fire is believed to be caused by chemicals used at the plant. No impacts to drinking water have been observed at this time.
Currently, Route 300 (Temple Hill Road) has been closed in both directions between Union Avenue (Route 300) and Route 94 (Blooming Grove Turnpike).
Additionally, following the explosion, state and local officials responded and have provided emergency medical treatment to the injured.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has dispatched:
  • 10 Environmental Conservation Police Officers
  • Regional Air Pollution Control Specialist
  • Regional Spill Response Engineer
  • Two representatives from DEC's Emergency Management Unit
The New York State Police has dispatched:
  • Approximately 30 members of the State Police
The Department of Health has dispatched:
  • Regional Director for Environmental Health
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Sanitarian
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has dispatched:
  • Approximately 10 staff members, including four fire protection specialists from the Office of Fire Prevention and Control
  • Four foam trailers from the Foam Task Force
  • OFPC hazardous materials response vehicle with air monitoring equipment
  • Fire Investigation teams and K9s from OFPC are responding at the request of Orange County to assist with the investigation
Additionally, at the Governor's direction, state investigators will work with local partners to determine the cause of the explosion at the warehouse and to examine any measures that could be taken at the state level to prevent future incidents.
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "All smoke can be hazardous to breathe, especially smoke containing potentially harmful particles and chemicals.  As we continue to learn more about the air quality in the area affected by this explosion, I encourage those in the surrounding area to take appropriate precautions and await further direction from first responders. The State Department of Health is working with local medical providers to ensure appropriate care for those involved."
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, "State Police members responded immediately to the incident and will remain on scene to provide any necessary assistance. In addition, members of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation will work with state and local fire officials to help determine the cause of the explosion and fire."
Department of Environmental Conservation Basil Seggos said, "DEC emergency response, law enforcement, spill and air engineers are on scene providing direct assistance to the communities as they battle this significant emergency. DEC staff will be investigating this incident to determine the cause and if any violations contributed to the conditions on the ground."
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino. Sr. said, "First, my thoughts and prayers are with those workers and first responders that have been injured from this explosion. DHSES' Offices of Emergency Management and Fire Prevention and Control are on site and assisting our local partners with any necessary equipment and personnel needed to help the communities that are affected from this terrible incident."