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Cause Of Dippin' Dots Nitrogen Explosion Still Under Investigation

Dixie Lynn
The headquarters for Dippin’ Dots in Paducah, Kentucky.

Local and state officials in Paducah are investigating a nitrogen explosion that injured 10 people at a facility connected to the Dippin’ Dots novelty ice cream company on Wednesday.

Paducah Police Department Spokesperson Robin Newberry said in a statement the explosion happened at a Dippin’ Dots facility that uses its freezing technology for other companies.

The explosion took place when a truck was off-loading liquid nitrogen into a storage tank. The ten employees injured in the blast were taken to Baptist Health Paducah Hospital and Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital.

In a statement, Dippin’ Dots CEO Scott Fischer called the explosion a “terrible incident” and said the company is focused on the well-being of their employees.

“My heart is with our employees, especially those injured in this afternoon’s terrible incident. I care deeply for our employees – they are family to me,” Fischer said. “Please join me in praying for our employees. Your support will be greatly appreciated by the Dippin’ Dots extended family during this difficult moment.”

On Thursday, a spokesperson with the company said nine of the injured workers have been released from the hospital to recover at home. One employee is still in the hospital, but the spokesperson did not respond to a question about their condition.

Dippin’ Dots is a novelty ice cream company that uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream.

The company recently expanded its cryogenic freezing technology to serve companies in the pharmaceutical and plant-based meats industries. An explosion happened at a different Dippin’ Dots production facility in 2019, injuring four.

Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle said local fire officials are still investigating the cause of the explosion. He said the investigation will likely be handed over to state work safety officials in the long-term.

“We haven’t had any fatalities as a result of this event, and we just look towards the investigation and hopefully not have this happening again,” Kyle said.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."