Ali RosenNov 20, 2017, 4:35 pmNov 21, 2017, 12:23 am

Massive cosmetics plant explosion in New Windsor kills 1, injures dozens

Several firefighters, workers were hurt in the blasts


NEW WINDSOR -- The body of a male employee was recovered at the site of a massive fire at a cosmetics plant in New Windsor after explosions and flames sent dozens to the hospital.

The New Windsor Police Department has confirmed that a medical examiner recovered the victim’s body at around 7 p.m. on Monday night.

Both state and local response personnel are expected to be at the site of the fire for several hours working to clean up after these explosions.

250 people work at the Verla International Warehouse where the explosion occurred on Monday morning where employees like David Mohabeer were rushed out of the building.

“The alarm started to come on ‘beep, beep, beep.’ When everybody started to run, the alarm started to go off. I said, ‘something is going on, something is happening there.’ I see everybody run, run, run, and say, ‘fire, fire.’” Mohabeer said.

Those who were near the building say it was hard to breathe or see through the smoke after the explosion went off.

According to officials at St. Lukes Hospital, they have seen 100 patients in relation to the incident.

“Responding firefighters as they entered the building were met with a second explosion which injured seven firefighters,” said Brandan Casey, commissioner of Orange County Emergency Services.

Two of those seven firefighters were sent to the burn center at Westchester Medical Center. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening at this time.

Verla International -- that produces perfumes, lipsticks, and nail polish -- was hit with 12 workplace safety violations this year from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration known as OSHA.

Records show nine of those violations were classified as serious. They include exit maintenance, the use of flammable liquids, and eye and respiratory protections for workers.

Environmental officials say the air appears to be safe to breathe but they are going to continue to monitor it. Those who were exposed to smoke and are feeling ill are advised to seek treatment.

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