Second half of KY distillery collapses; thousands of barrels affected
(WAVE) Nearly two weeks after a devastating partial collapse of an aging warehouse at the Barton 1792 Brands distillery, the other half of the building came crashing down on Independence Day.
An estimated 9,000 bourbon barrels tumbled to the ground Wednesday, 12 days after approximately 9,000 barrels were impacted in the first collapse at Warehouse 30.
A spokeswoman for Barton 1792 said after the first collapse, the rest of the building was not able to be secured because they were worried about the safety of workers.
The distillery said they were prepared, however, and had equipment on standby near the warehouse to help clean up debris from the first collapse or deal with the half of the building that initially remained.
KSP officials confirmed to WAVE 3 News that a Fish & Wildlife officer was dispatched to the facility at 300 Barton Road at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Fish & Wildlife representatives have been involved since the first collapse since the impacted bourbon ran downhill from the distillery into local streams. The distillery was fined for the spill, which killed about a thousand fish.
A spokeswoman for Barton 1792 said no bourbon from the recent spill entered waterways.
"That will be for the EPA to determine and they are checking that at this time," Milt Spalding, a spokesman for Nelson County Emergency Management, said.
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A WAVE 3 News viewer who lives near the warehouse said the air smells of bourbon.
Another neighbor said she could hear the wood splitting as the warehouse collapsed.
"It was almost like a ship hitting rocks, is the sound that I heard," Valerie Nevitt said. "You could also hear the crashing of the barrels on each other."
Spalding said fire crews are on scene to monitor for any fire concerns.
Bardstown officials are urging residents in the area to not shoot off fireworks, as the spirits could ignite and cause a massive blaze.
"Due to the increased fire danger in the area in the wake of the collapse, we're asking residents in the area of the distillery to refrain from setting off fireworks," Spalding said.
Barton's Facebook page posted Wednesday at about 2:46 p.m. that the facility would be closed for tours for the rest of the day, shown in the screengrab below:
No injuries were reported.
What caused the collapse is not yet known.
Barton 1792 does not know how many barrels will be salvaged. But the company is already working to build a new warehouse to store whatever can be kept.
The distillery had their other warehouses inspected for safety. They said the buildings are safe.
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