Emergency crews respond to report of explosion in Pearl City

Capt. Terry Seelig
Capt. Terry Seelig

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - There were tense moments Thursday as emergency crews responded to a report of an explosion in Pearl City.

A loud bang, an emission of dust, and workers having some trouble catching their breath.

A hazardous materials team rushes to Pearl City Industrial Park, unsure of what it's dealing with.

"We didn't know initially because it was initially reported as an explosion," Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department, said.

The call comes from Sandwich Isle Termite and Pest Control. About half a dozen employees evacuate the building, and the entrance to the industrial park is sealed off.

"They were in another part of the warehouse and heard the noise and saw the dust coming out," Seelig said.

Firefighters don protective gear and enter a storage room. They discover a spent container of fumigant had burst.

"This fumigant product has several components, and the toxic part of it had already been used up," Seelig said. "But the carrier part remained. That went into the air."

Fire officials say two women complained of headaches and difficulty breathing. They're treated at the scene.

A short time later, the hazmat team determines the warehouse is safe. The employees return to work.

"They took the right steps in calling for assistance and getting out of their building and accounting for everyone," Seelig said.

Again, fire crews say no toxic product was released. The entrance to the industrial park is re-opened.