Boiler Explosion Causes Fire, Injuries at Oregon Potato Chip Plant

Fire crews said it was the biggest blaze they’d seen in a decade.

A major explosion at a potato chip factory in Northeast Oregon resulted in six injuries and could hurt the supply of chips on the West Coast.

Local news reports said a portable natural gas boiler exploded at around 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Shearer’s Foods plant near Hermiston, Oregon, causing a dramatic fire.

Six people were hurt in the incident, but no injuries were considered serious.

Several reports quoted responding fire departments saying it was the largest blaze they had seen in a decade.

The plant makes salty snacks for private brands and supplies much of the western U.S. with potato and corn chips. At full capacity, it employs up to 400 people.

The facility’s main building may be a total loss.

It’s the only West Coast plant for Shearer’s, which has 12 factories across nine states.

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