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No injuries reported at Strasburg milk plant

Valley Milk Products says no employees were working at the facility at the time of the explosion
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:10 AM EDT
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STRASBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Early Friday morning, an explosion at Valley Milk Products happened when thankfully no employees were working at the facility at the time.

According to a release from Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, which owns the plant, there are no reported injuries.

An Incident Commander with the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue tells WHSV a boiler exploded, causing an ammonia leak. Because of the leak, about 20 people were evacuated from their homes. Officials say the leak has been contained.

“It sounded like if someone put a piece of dynamite in the dumpster and it blew up I mean it was really loud,” David Woodson, who lives next to the plant said.

David and his wife Siska were both woken up by the blast on Friday morning and were told to evacuate their home by local first responders.

“The house shook and the dogs were just going nuts and barking,” Siska said. “I was just trying to figure out what happened I thought it was lightning, thunder, or even an earthquake.”

Debris from the blast went through a third store across from the plant causing several businesses to close for the next few days.

The Woodson’s said they were thankful for local businesses like Box Office Brewery and Nancy’s Coffee Bar who provided food during the morning while they were away from their house and someone even offered to put them in a hotel.

“The way this town does and pulls together, you know Strasburg really takes care of its own here and I’d like to thank everybody for that,” David said.

Officials say two delivery truck drivers were outside of the building when the explosion happened. Neither were hurt.

As of 4 p.m. Shenandoah County Administrator, Evan Vass, all residents have been permitted to return to their homes.

Strasburg Police Department says Eastbound King Street is open to Massanutten Street. East King Street to Funk Street is still closed, for an undetermined amount of time. South Massanutten Street is open. Police say to expect delays and use alternative routes.

The company says they are still assessing the impact of the explosion and are not expecting any disruptions to milk supply. The plant produces various dairy products including milk powders, butter, and cream.

The cause of the explosion remains unknown and will be under investigation.

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