New video shows deadly explosion from inside New York cosmetics plant

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — Newly released video shows the deadly explosion inside a New York cosmetics factory last week.

The Orange County Fire Investigation Unit completed its investigation and determined the fire at at Verla International on Monday, Nov. 20, began when static electricity caused the ignition of an ignitable liquid (hexamethyldisiloxane).

The cause was accidental, according to the official report.

The explosion happened during the manufacturing process when an employee was wiping excess product in the batch room, officials say.

The body of one male worker was recovered from the fire and 30-35 people were injured.

Police said the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Nov. 20, at the Verla International cosmetics factory in New Windsor, about an hour's drive from New York City. Firefighters who responded were inside when the second explosion occurred around 10:40 a.m.

Up to 35 people were being treated for injuries, including seven firefighters, most of them from the nearby city of Newburgh, Town Supervisor George Green said. Two of the firefighters were taken to the burn unit at Westchester Medical Center, he said. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

Verla was cited for nine occupational safety violations earlier this year, according to records on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's website. One was related to problems with the handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

The federal agency also cited inadequacies relating to respirator protection for workers and the maintenance of exit routes. The company agreed to pay $41,000 in penalties.

The factory is about a half-mile from the town hall and police station in New Windsor, on the Hudson River's west bank, 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of New York City. The 37-year-old New Windsor-based company's website says the products it makes include nail polish, perfumes, lotions and other products.