PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and several state agencies are assisting Union County officials with an explosion and subsequent fire at a biodiesel facility on Highway 15 just north of New Albany. The fire is still burning.

Union County Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton says two workers escaped without injuries at the time of the explosion around 6 a.m.

One home and two industrial businesses near the plant have been evacuated as a precaution. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has air monitoring teams in the area to test for hazardous materials that may leave the site, but have not detected anything at this time.

The explosion also affected a nearby power substation that caused a power outage to the Town of Blue Mountain and surrounding areas in Tippah County, including Blue Mountain College.  Tippah County Emergency Management supplied generators to the area and the college to assist with caring for students and local residents. Power crews were able to restore electricity by noon.

Highway 15 will remain closed as emergency crews continue to work the scene. The Mississippi Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation are assisting local agencies with traffic.

Agencies responding to the incident include Union County Emergency Management, MHP, MDOT, MDEQ, Union County Sheriff’s Department, New Albany Police, Northaven Fire Department, Myrtle Fire Department, New Albany Fire Department, and United States Environmental Services.

The cause of explosion is under investigation.

Media with questions should contact Union County Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton at 662-255-4992.