Rest of whiskey storage warehouse collapses in Kentucky

Rest of whiskey storage warehouse collapses in Kentucky

Rest of whiskey storage warehouse collapses in Kentucky

What was left standing of a Kentucky distillery's bourbon aging warehouse came crashing down on Wednesday, around two weeks after the first half of the building collapsed, contaminating nearby waters and killing almost 1,000 fish.

The aftermath following the collapse of the remainder of a whiskey warehouse at the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky July 4, 2018.

Environmental damage from several gallons of spilled alcoholic spirits should be kept to a minimum, officials say, after a collapsing bourbon warehouse in Bardstown finally met its demise.

Spalding said the scene looks like "a mountain of bourbon barrels".

After the first collapse, spilled bourbon contaminated two nearby creeks, killing nearly 1,000 fish.

Valerie Nevitt, who lives near the warehouse, said she heard the sounds of wood splitting and then the rumbles of barrels falling upon one another, reminiscent of last month's then-partial collapse.

The half of the warehouse that was left standing after the first collapse could not be secured because of worker safety concerns, the distillery said Wednesday via press release. The cause of the first collapse is still unknown. Despite efforts taken to contain the spill, alcohol flowed from the site for around 3 hours, with Bourbon making its way into the local waterways and contributing to the death of around 800 fish. In addition to the local fire department and the emergency management agency, the Nelson County Sheriff's Department and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife responded.

State environmental officials had said they would fine Sazerac Inc., parent company of the distillery, up to $25,000 per day.

The company said at the time that the collapse had affected "a mix of various distilled products at various ages".

Cleanup crews have been at the scene for days, and the company called in "more resources" after the second collapse, Spalding said Wednesday.

According to its website, the Barton 1792 Distillery had 29 barrel aging warehouses on its property before the accident.

Following the first collapse, a Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman said Sazerac would be cited for failing to report the spill of whiskey in a timely manner and for polluting waters.

Kentucky's bourbon sector is in the midst of a more than $1.1 billion boom that includes expanded production facilities, more storage warehouses and new tourism centers.

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