Dayton company closes in wake of explosion

DAYTON - Advanced Specialty Gases, a company that produces nitrogen triflouride, has been closed in the wake of an explosion Sunday morning and officials still don't know the extent of toxins released by the blast.

The company is about one mile east of Smith's Food and Drug Center, just off Highway 50 East at 38 Enterprise Way. Company officials had no comment.

A four-county hazardous materials team as well as fire departments from Lyon County, Reno, Truckee Meadows, and the Nevada Division of Forestry responded to the incident.

The nature and extent of toxins released is not known at this time, according to Alan Biaggi, administrator of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The division is participating in an investigation with the Central Lyon County Fire Protection District.

"Our main focus is stopping any continuing leakage," Biaggi said, noting that once the building is secured cleanup and repairs will begin.

"Everyone wants to be sure that there won't be a problem with people entering the building," he said, "(The building) is not sealed off, but people are moving cautiously. All lines are being drained, and they're looking around, taking their time."

The plant is regulated by a number of entities, according to Biaggi. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection regulates in case of a catastrophic accident, and local fire departments do oversight before the fact.

There were no reports of any injuries to workers, firemen, or neighbors according to Lyon County Manager Stephen Snyder, who noted the plant is regulated on several levels.

Lyon County handles standard building permits, and fire or commercial inspection is contracted out of Storey County. Dave Cormandy is a certified, private consultant approved by the state fire marshal.

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency said the incident has not been reported to that agency.

Investigation into the incident is slated to begin today, according to Biaggi.

Nitrogen trifluoride is a colorless gas with a mouldy odor. It is used in the computer industry, according to Mary Ellen Holly, fire prevention specialist for the Central Lyon County Fire District.

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