Explosion, Fire at Shearer's Chip Plant in Oregon

Feb. 23, 2022
A portable boiler exploded, no serious injuries, but plant may be destroyed.

A boiler exploded Feb. 22 at a Shearer's Foods potato chip plant south of Hermiston, Ore., sparking a fire and several injuries, none of which was deemed serious. The plant looks severely damaged.

The Tri-City Herald reported a portable boiler fueled by natural gas was believed to be the one that exploded at about 1pm. Seven people were taken to the local hospital, but none with serious injuries.

The local paper said the plant employs 400 people at full capacity and supplies much of the western U.S. with potato and corn chips. Photography from the scene looked like the plant could be destroyed. Shearer's is primarily a private label and contract manufacturer of salty snacks and cookies.

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