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On May 8, 1997, an explosion and fire occurred at the Bartlo Packaging Incorporated (BPS) facility located in West Helena, Arkansas. As a result of the explosion and
fire three firefighters died and seventeen other firefighters required medical attention due to heat exhaustion and minor injuries.
Hundreds of residents, including local hospital patients, were evacuated or sheltered in place due to the threat of exposure to toxic chemicals released in the blast.
This presentation reviews the incident, the chemistry, and the lessons learned.