Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 16, 2013

Investigation continues into Perma-Fix blaze, blasts

VALDOSTA — Valdostans will not soon forget the explosions that rocked the Azalea East Industrial Park facility, Perma-Fix of South Georgia, Inc., on Aug. 14. Smoke billowed over the area hours after the initial blast at 2:22 p.m.

While firefighters faced flames and a series of successive explosions that afternoon, the Valdosta Fire Department has faced a long haul in completing  its investigation into the incident. The need to interview injured Perma-Fix employees has complicated the department’s inquiries into the cause.

Perma-Fix employees Charlie Curry, Stan Williams, and Jamey Mitchell were injured during the explosion. Mitchell was treated and released from the hospital, and Curry and Williams' conditions were listed as critical in Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

Valdosta Fire Department Capt. John Wisenbaker told The Times Tuesday that only Williams remains in the hospital. Anne Smith, Perma-Fix director of communications, said, “All three are recovering well. One employee remains in the hospital and he is making great progress.”

The investigation was on hold until interviews could be conducted with the injured employees, but the VFD has not been able to conduct any of the interviews, Wisenbaker said.

“We definitely feel it was an accident. There doesn’t seem to be any foul play,” Wisenbaker said.

The VFD could use litigation to get the information it needs, but since no foul play is suspected, fire officials are trying to handle the case civilly.

“If we thought they had groundbreaking information, then we would take the legal route,” Wisenbaker said.

Responding to a question as to whether or not Perma-Fix intends to rebuild, Smith said, “The company continues to restore the site. Clean up and recovery efforts are coming along as we prepare for reconstruction.”

Wisenbaker stressed the importance that the site is being cleaned by Perma-Fix under federal Environmental Protection Agency supervision.

Smith said, “Clean-up efforts were aggressive to ensure there were no environmental releases.”

Smith added, “The EPA ensured no problem to the environment, and Georgia Environmental Protection Division is looking at clean up and rebuilding.”

She thanked Valdosta for the support Perma-Fix has received throughout this incident.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City: Most overflows stopped

    The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416-gov_deal002.jpg Signed into law

    Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2 charged in N.C. kidnapping

    Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.

    April 17, 2014

  • VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday

    Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results