Tank rupture spills 300 tons of molten glass at Zanesville plant


ZANESVILLE, OH (WCMH) – A tank rupture at the Owens-Illinois glass plant in Zanesville resulted in the spill of around 300 tons of molten glass Monday afternoon.

It happened around 2pm at the plant on South State Street in Zanesville, WHIZ reported.

The rupture was in part of a furnace used to melt glass for the manufacturing of alcohol bottles.

Firefighters were concerned about the possibility of molten glass damaging structural beams of the facility.

South Zanesville Police Chief Russell Taylor told WHIZ that the molten glass had a lava-like consistency and said it was like a volcano erupted.

No injuries were reported.

Plant managers recently had concerns about the condition of the furnace and had asked the fire department to do a walkthrough and make plans for a possible failure.

O-I had alerted the department recently that their furnace was due for replacement and had rebuild scheduled. However, they were concerned of the possibility of a failure due to the state that the furnace was in. To prepare for the situation the department, along with other neighboring departments, conducted walk throughs of the facility, and a pre-plan was created.

While we were hoping to not have to use the plans that had been prepped, this evening the situation was contained quickly and without injury to anyone thanks to the planning.

The department wants to thank O-I’s employees for their help and guidance in responding to the situation and every fire department that assisted in containing the situation. Conditions were very hot and crews had to be swapped regularly.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story cited officials who stated the leak contained 300,000 tons of molten glass. Officials with Owens-Illinois confirmed with NBC4 on Tuesday the actual amount was closer to 300 tons.

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