* West Virginia facility closed after explosion, fire
* Airgas does not say how long shutdown will last
* Fire has been contained -county official
May 13 An Airgas Inc distribution center
in Putnam Country, West Virginia, has been closed after two
people were injured in an explosion and fire at the facility,
the company said on Monday.
The center handles industrial gases including nitrogen,
acetylene and oxygen that do not pose an immediate threat to
public safety, though a section of adjoining highway has been
closed, said Jason Owens, deputy director of public safety at
the Putnam County Office of Emergency Management.
"About 3:20 p.m. (1920 GMT) they had an explosion and fire,"
he said. "The fire is contained. However, it is still burning
because they don't want to let the product vent into the
Airgas said in a statement that an investigation into the
cause of the incident was underway and that the company was
working with local authorities and emergency personnel. It did
not say how long the center would be closed.
Airgas shares closed down 1 percent at $96.72 on the New
York Stock Exchange. Airgas officials were not immediately
available for comment.