Magnesium Recycling Plant Catches Fire, Explodes

Monday, September 10th 2007, 9:14 pm
By: News On 6

CAMDEN, Tenn. (AP) _ A magnesium recycling plant caught fire and exploded in this west Tennessee town, and authorities evacuated nearby homes as a precaution, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Several explosions were reported at the Magpro plant, said John Smoot, director of the Benton County Emergency Management Agency. About 30 people work at the plant.

About 25 people were evacuated within a mile of the plant in Camden, about 70 miles west of Nashville, Smoot said.

Magnesium burns very hot and produces a light ash, but the smoke is not toxic, said Jeremy Heidt, spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

The homes were evacuated out of concern about possible explosions, which can occur when burning magnesium mixes with water, Smoot said.

The cause of the fire and explosions was being investigated.