CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Citing cost efficiency, a Putnam County plant that employs 12 people is shutting down.
Airgas, located along W.Va. 62 in the Black Betsy area near Poca, was the scene of a large explosion earlier this year, but company officials said the blast had nothing to do with the decision to close.
The closure was effective Wednesday. None of the other six Airgas facilities in the region will be affected, according to a statement from the Pennsylvania-based company.
The facility is a low-to-mid-volume cylinder fill plant.
Two workers were injured in the May 13 blast, which caused a large fire. More than 50 acetylene cylinders in an outside storage area exploded in the incident. Two men suffered burns and were hospitalized.
Acetylene is a colorless, highly reactive and extraordinarily flammable gas used in welding, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
Sarah Stockton-Brown, communications manager for the company, said in the release that the plant closure was not a result of the fire.
The plant was operating in a limited capacity since the incident. The temporary shut down and reduced level of operations did speed up an evaluation of the plant, she said.