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Bridgeport residents, businesses return following explosion at hazardous waste facility


By Kristina Russo and Olivia Kalentek

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    BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (WFSB) — Residents were evacuated after an explosion with a major fire in Bridgeport on Friday.

About 200 residents within a two-block radius were evacuated by first responders, and all other residents were asked to shelter in place to avoid smoke exposure. As of Friday night, all residents and businesses were allowed back to the area.

The explosion occurred at 1:54 p.m. at Tradebe Environmental Services, 50-57 Cross St.

“It was a loud explosion. Anybody could hear it. This whole neighborhood shook,” said “I got scared myself. This whole building shook.”

Tradebe is described by the state as a used oil and hazardous waste recycling, treatment, storage, and transfer facility.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is responding.

They say the air quality is being monitored, but there is no danger to the public at this time. As of Saturday morning, the air is still considered to be safe.

Residual effects of the explosion have also caused the water quality to have high PH levels.

“Water runoff is being constantly monitored and the public has been advised that due to high PH levels that fishing in nearby brooks should not occur,” said Bridgeport officials in a release on Saturday.

Police say they received multiple 911 calls reporting an explosion and a major fire in the area of Bishop Ave, East Ave, and Cross St.

According to police, three people suffered injuries and were transported to Bridgeport Hospital. Two are being treated for burns and one is being treated for smoke inhalation. As of Saturday morning, two of the three had been discharged and one was admitted.

“There was an incident at the Bridgeport facility Friday afternoon.

We are cooperating and working closely with first responders and regulators.

Our prayers are with the three people who were injured and they are currently being evaluated at a local hospital.”

Rich Bamberger ,Spokesperson for Tradebe
“It was noise. People were screaming and yelling. I opened the door and I got scared. I went out and saw so much smoke coming out,” said M.B. Islam, Bridgeport.

The fire department said they had the fire under control within an hour and a half.

Bridgeport Fire Chief Lance Edwards said they have an idea of what caused the fire, but the official cause is still under investigation.

“It appears that it was a delivery of oxidizer to the property of about 4 thousand gallons of low grade oxidizer. And it appears the driver of the vehicle opened up the valve and there was an explosion which triggered a couple of other small explosions,” said Fire Chief Lance Edwards, Bridgeport Fire.

“State and Regional agencies have been alerted to assist with air quality, run-off into the storm drains, and to assist with the incident,” said Scott Appleby, Director, Office of Emergency Management, Bridgeport.

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