Ohio paint factory blast, fire leave 1 missing, 8 injured, officials say; dangerous situation

At least one person was missing and eight others were injured Thursday after an explosion and a massive fire with two alarms at a paint factory in Columbus, Ohio, according to reports.

The fire sparked evacuations in the area and sent firefighters to get the blaze under control, officials said.

Among the injured were five people who were taken to hospitals after escaping from the building on their own, the Columbus Division of Fire said in a statement.

However, two people were trapped in the building and had to be rescued. They were in critical condition, officials said.

“The search and rescue efforts are continuing, as are the extinguishing efforts at the moment,” the statement added.

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The fire was reported at the Yenkin-Majestic Paints factory, operated by the Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. The company has been described as a family owned and operated coatings business.

Fire Chief Steve Martin said hazmat crews were on site because the factory is home to hazardous materials, Columbus’s WBNS-TV reported. He added that evacuations were underway at nearby businesses.

The scene early Thursday at the Yenkin-Majestic Paints factory in Columbus, Ohio.
(Columbus Division of Fire)

Local residents posting to Twitter said they felt the explosion in the houses.

“Powerful enough to shake my whole house,” wrote one resident.

“Something exploded in Columbus,” replied another.

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“I think it was all over town,” wrote another. “I’m in downtown Columbus, at fairgrounds. We heard a muffled explosion-like noise and the whole house shook, windows rattled. All the neighbors came out of their houses, our dog ran upstairs to see what was happening,” etc. “

Photos taken by residents showed a large plume of smoke rising into the sky.

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The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

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