An electrical fire mistaken for an explosion triggered the evacuation Wednesday morning of a plant in northern Wisconsin specializing in clear plastic storage containers, local media report.
At about 11:30 a.m., a worker at the IRIS USA plant in Pleasant Prairie reported what was thought to be a possible explosion. In fact, it was a problem in an electrical panel, authorities report. No explosion or fire resulted.
Workers immediately evacuated the 570,000 square-foot manufacturing plant while emergency crews blocked off the area. Once the factory was determined to be safe, production resumed.
The factory is scheduled to complete retooling this month to make consumer face masks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Monthly capacity is an estimated 70 million masks per month.
IRIS USA is the U.S. division of Japanese household products manufacturer, IRIS Ohyama. The company is presently shipping consumer masks from China to meet the demand.