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Explosion at Westward Seafoods Sparks Police Investigation

Unalaska Dept. of Public Safety

Police are investigating an explosion that damaged the We?stward Seafoods plant Monday night.

No one w?as injured in the blast, but the Unalaska Department of Public Safety estimates the building sustained more than $100,000 in damage.

Public Safety Director Mike Holman said thirteen responders arrived at Westward around 6:45 p.m. to find smoke pouring out of the plant.

"There was heavy smoke and steam coming out of the fish meal area," said Holman. "The sprinklers were going off, and fire alarms were going off as well. But they did not find a fire."

Holman said responders ventilated the building as they searched for the cause of the smoke.

"The best guess is that there was some type of an explosion caused by the fish meal dust being ignited in a confined area," he said. 

Westward's Plant Manager Dan Le said a seawater line broke around 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Holman said that burst pipe could have ignited the dust and caused the explosion, but police are still investigating.

"It could have been the pump or something else," he said.

Meanwhile, Le said the plant is still operating but a section has been closed due to damage.

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