Cause, Impact Of Fire At Biofuels Facility Studied

May 28, 2014

Authorities are trying to assess the environmental impact and determine the cause of a fire and explosions at a southern New Mexico biofuel facility.

Officials say there were no injuries from the large fire and explosions Tuesday at the Rio Valley Biofuels facility near the town of Anthony, but company Operations Manager Jed Smith tells the Las Cruces Sun-News that nearly all of the facility was destroyed.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated but residents were allowed to return to their homes by early afternoon.

Dona Ana County sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Jameson says tanks that exploded contained toxic chemicals, including glycerin, hydrochloric acid, methanol, sodium methylate and bio-diesel.

According to Rio Valley Biofuels' website, the company began commercially producing bio-diesel fuel from recycled oil from local food processors in 2006.

Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News. 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.