Wednesday at around 10 a.m., there was an explosion at the Eastman Chemical plant, causing a brief disruption to the community.
According to the Associated Press, people surrounding the area were recommended to remain indoors until further notice. Schools and businesses within the area were lifted from the shelter, but those within a half mile had to wait a little longer for the shelter to be released.
Marketing and communications intern Mykayla Reynolds was on site when the explosion occurred. Reynolds is a junior Media & Communication major at ETSU.
“I had to run an errand to the old corporate center…Everything was fine, I didn’t hear anything…then I got there…the department was gathering up their stuff,” she said.
For those in the department, they didn’t seem to be too concerned, Reynolds said. They were told to evacuate the premises and move to the third floor safety zone, where there was a kitchen segment that could be cut off from outside air supply. Reynolds said it was just an “extra precaution,” as nobody had yet defined the situation.
“They’re a chemical company, so they really have to be on top of safety and safety standards. … Accidents happen in factories, that’s just kind of how it goes.”
During their three-hour stay in the designated safety zone, Reynolds said her and other colleagues were checking their phones and other news outlets for any information.
“Yes, I was little confused, because I didn’t know what was going on. We didn’t have any information really,” Reynolds said. “Everyone was just kinda trying to figure out what was going on.”
Eastman is not classifying the incident as an explosion, and so far no injuries or casualties have been reported. According to the Associated Press, a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation official stated it is was closely monitoring developments and providing assistance as needed.
Reynolds said she’s not afraid of it happening again but said it was possible that it could.
“That doesn’t normally happen. It wasn’t a huge deal, and luckily no one was hurt.”