First Update (8/15/13 1:38 p.m.)
Perma-Fix has released the following statement:
The company experienced a fire yesterday at its South Georgia facility. Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our employees.
All 13 employees are accounted for and two employees that were airlifted to a local hospital are in stable condition. We are obviously very concerned about these employees and will do everything we can to support them and their families.
The fire has been contained and we are grateful for the efforts and immediate action of the emergency responders. We are not aware of any further risk to employees or the public.
We are working closely with responders and local officials, and will be conducting a full investigation as soon as we can re-enter the facility.
We have a culture of safe, compliant operations. We take this matter very seriously and are sending in corporate resources from other facilities and departments to assist in recovery, investigation and cleanup of the site.
The Valdosta Fire Department responded to a chemical explosion fire shortly after 2 p.m. at PermaFix Environmental Services on James Rodgers Circle.
Officials with the City of Valdosta say that more than 40 firefighters were on scene within minutes with the plant fire under control by 4:30 p.m. with the assistance of two nearby fire departments: Lowndes County and Moody Air force Base Fire Department.
City officials add that due to the nature of the chemicals at the facility, the area was evacuated within a one-mile radius.
Police agencies also responded to help including the Valdosta Police Department, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Georgia State Patrol, and the FBI.
City officials also say that three injuries have been reported, but no fatalities at this time.
According to Perma-Fix's Director of Communication, the company is focused on the safety of their employees, and doing what they can to support the fire department in getting the fire under control.
Both Perma-Fix and the City of Valdosta add that as they have more information on the cause of the fire, they will release further statements.