An explosion at a Florida chemical plant today left four people dead and up to 21 others injured in a scene several witnesses likened to a war zone, the Florida Times-Union reports. The Jacksonville blast occurred around 1:30pm and sent billows of smoke into the sky. “Those shock waves came straight through these hills,” one witness said.
The cause of the blast remains unclear. The plant, T2 Laboratories, makes turpine-based solvents and an additive for gasoline. Authorities evacuated residents within a half-mile radius of the site. Another witness, who saw large pieces of debris flying from the plant, said, “If there was somebody in there, pray for them.”