New Hampshire Ball Bearings: Explosions, ‘Mass Casualty Incident’ in Peterborough
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Explosions and injuries have been reported at NH Ball Bearings in Peterborough, New Hampshire on Monday.
No deaths have been reported as of yet.
A four-alarm response was triggered and over 100 firefighters responded.
That includes crews from more than a dozen nearby towns, including the Jaffrey Fire Department.
A witness, Steve Bourgeois, told WMUR: “It rocked our building, which was 300 feet away.”
Bourgeois that there were two big explosions and that all of the windows on the bottom floor were blown out.
Thereasa Anderson said via Facebook that she was on the scene and saw multiple people bleeding, including a guy whose hand was covered in blood. Everyone was alive, she said. After the explosions, “Everyone came screaming and running out.”
The facility is used for manufacturing equipment for the aerospace, defense, and medical markets. The company has two others in the U.S., and over 1,500 employees. About 100 people work in the building during a typical shift. Peterborough is about 25 miles west of Amherst.
Chemicals were inside the building but officials don’t know what type yet.
The situation is termed a Mass Casualty Incident, which means that there are more injured on the scene than ambulances available to treat them, reported the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. That’s despite six to eight ambulances that responded immediately after the incident, which happened at 3:37 p.m.
Spokeswoman Kathy Gerrity told AP people were hurt but she’s unsure how many. She says it’s unclear what caused the explosion.
She also said that she was unsure how many people were inside but there are usually about 450 working at that time.
The State Emergency Operations Center opened in response to the situation at the facility, Governor Maggie Hassan said.