Investigators zero in on cause of distillery explosion

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Investigators probing an explosion at a liquor distillery in Fairview Township Friday are zeroing in on a chemical used in the distilling process. 

The county's hazmat team discovered the explosion at the Crostwater Distillery in the 500 block of Industrial Drive involved a 75% vinegar acid-based chemical, according to the York County Office of Emergency Management.

Hazmat responding to an incident at Crost Water Distilled Spirits in Lewisberry on March 17, 2023.

The chemical is used in distilling alcoholic beverages like whiskey and rum, which are manufactured at the business. 

Three people were injured in the explosion and transported to area hospitals by ambulance. The extent of their injuries was not known, according to York County Emergency Management spokesperson Ted Czech. 

The explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m., prompting an evacuation of the facility.

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There was no fire involved with the explosion, although firefighters responded to the scene. Firefighters cleared the scene just before 1:30 p.m., according to York County Emergency Management, but hazmat crews continued working at the scene.

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A clean-up crew was contacted to overhaul the facility, emergency management stated. 

The distillery produces a number of alcoholic beverages, including vodka, rum, gin, rye and bourbon whiskey. It was opened in 2016.