Blow the Roof Off

A chemical explosion at Granite Packaging on Leggett Road in Social Circle on Thursday morning, July 23, 2020, blew a hole through the roof of the warehouse. One man was flown to Atlanta for treatment of his injuries, and three more people were treated at the scene.

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — One person was flown to Atlanta after crews from multiple agencies responded Thursday morning to an explosion at a plant in Social Circle.

The Social Circle Fire Department, Social Circle police and Walton County Fire Rescue responded to Granite Packaging at 1 Leggett Road, officials said.

“The initial call was for some type of explosion,” Social Circle fire Chief Ken Zaydel said. He said the call came in at 10:47 a.m. Thursday.

“One person was flown by medevac to Atlanta and the other were treated and released in scene,” Social Circle police Deputy Chief Jimmy Robinson said.

Zaydel said the explosion “did a little bit of damage, but it was minor damage” to the building.

The Social Circle Fire Department dispatched “pretty much everything” it has, Zaydel said. That included two engines, two chiefs and a ladder truck.

Walton County Fire Rescue send two engines, two manpower squads and its hazmat team.

The Georgia State Patrol and Walton County sheriff's deputies helped at the scene.

The Monroe Fire Department was serving as backup for the Social Circle and Walton County departments as needed should other calls arise.

Amber McKibben, the city’s downtown director, said a chemist from Granite Packaging came to the scene and assisted in identifying the chemicals involved, allowing for safe and proper containment and decontamination.

“The cause of the explosion is under investigation, and no present danger exists for residents or the community,” she said Friday afternoon.

Editor and Publisher David Clemons contributed to this report.


Brett Fowler is the sports editor of The Walton Tribune. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia and a 2010 graduate of Monroe Area High School. Brett has been covering Walton County sports since 2011.

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