Local residents near the old Enka Plant near Asheville heard a huge explosion late this afternoon. Then the ground shook like it was an earthquake. People near the explosion immediately suspected something had happened on the old Enka Plant campus. Then those close to the plant could see a huge flame of fire rising into the sky. Fire Department sirens were soon heard and fire trucks were seen approaching the explosion site.
The gas line that is on fire is located near Sandhill Road. The closest business is the Jacob Holms plant. Jacob Holm Industries, founded in 1794, is headquartered globally in Basel, Switzerland. The Buncombe County facility is the headquarters for its U.S. subsidiary. Jacob Holm Industries is one of the world’s leading nonwoven corporations, offering high-quality products for the personal care, home care, hygiene, packaging and industrial markets.
An Asheville Fire Department spokesman said that a 12 inch gas line had exploded. Those living in close proximity to the fire have been evacuated to the Enka Baptist Church. Firefighters are now trying to control the blaze. It is unknown at this time whether anyone was injured or what caused the huge explosion. Most often gas lines do not explode without some external cause. Generally, there is a breakdown in some process that leads to a gas explosion.