TONAWANDA, N.Y.- Multiple gas line backups caused by "extremely cold temperatures" were responsible for the explosion at the Tonawanda Coke plant last Friday, the company said in a release.
According to Tonawanda Coke, the additional pressure created a disk rupture on a manifold underneath the coke oven battery. The coke oven gas underneath the battery then combusted, causing an explosion.
The high temperature in Buffalo on the day of the explosion was 32 degrees. The high temperature for the day before was 33 degrees.
Tonawanda Coke says a small fire burned for 12 minutes before it was extinguished.
The company is saying that no one was injured in the incident. This contradicts a report from our partners at Investigative Post that says one person was injured with minor burns.
Investigative Post also reported that the explosion is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
Although the company did not do so in the recent release, Tonawanda Coke had previously described the explosion as a minor incident. The state DEC has said the explosion was significant.
Tonawanda Coke says it has already taken steps to prevent similar incidents by upgrading the current instrument air supply system, among other upgrades.
The company continues to refuse requests for interviews.