Static Spark Blamed for Barton Solvents Blast

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A federal agency says a static spark from a loosely held measuring float was the probable cause of an explosion at a Barton Solvents distribution plant last year.

Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial chemical accidents, released their final report Thursday in Wichita.

The board also issued recommendations to address similar setups and practices with hundreds of thousands of chemical tanks across the nation.

The July 2007 explosion at the Barton plant in Valley Center led to the evacuation of 6,000 residents. Eleven residents and one firefighter were injured and the tank was destroyed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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