An explosion followed by a fire at a chemical packaging plant in West Helena, AR, killed three firefighters and caused the governor to declare a state of emergency as the area was evacuated due to toxic fumes.
A spokesman for BPS Inc. which specializes in packaging agricultural pesticides and herbicides said a smoldering bag of chemicals caught fire and triggered the explosion. BPS is one of the companies that packages Dursban insecticide for DowElanco Indianapolis. A child-resistant senior-friendly bag holding individual water-soluble pouches of Dursban 50W has twice won packaging honors in the annual competition of the Flexible Packaging Assn. (see PW March '97 p. 78).