Second half of KY distillery collapses; thousands of barrels affected

Second half of KY distillery collapses; thousands of barrels affected

Twelve days after half of a maturation warehouse at Sazerac's Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky collapsed, the remaining half of the structure has now come crashing down with another 9,000 barrels of whiskey inside.

Milt Spalding with Nelson County Emergency Management and Dispatch told WAVE the call reporting the collapse came it at 2:20 p.m., and Bardstown firefighters arrived at the scene at 2:25 p.m. No injuries were reported in either collapse, he said.

Spalding said crews, including the Bardstown Fire Department, arrived at the scene within five minutes.

A spokeswoman for Barton 1792 said no bourbon from the recent spill entered waterways.

Louisiana-based spirits company Sazerac, the distiller's owner, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A spokeswoman for Barton 1792 said after the first collapse, the rest of the building was not able to be secured because they were anxious about the safety of workers. The distillery was fined for the spill, which killed about a thousand fish. Despite efforts taken to contain the spill, alcohol flowed from the site for around 3 hours, with Bourbon making its way into the local waterways and contributing to the death of around 800 fish.

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The warehouse was constructed in the 1940s, and Sazerac indicates it will likely be several weeks before the cause of the collapse is determined.

Warehouse 30 at the Barton 1792 Distillery, located in Bardstown, was undergoing a wall fix when one side of it first gave out on June 22, dumping the contents of 9,000 barrels of bourbon into two nearby creeks.

While it's possible some of the barrels can be salvaged, officials won't know how many until they begin sifting through the debris.

Following the first collapse, a Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman said Sazerac would be cited for failing to report the spill of whiskey in a timely manner and for polluting waters.

There are plans for a new warehouse to be built to store the recovered barrels.

The company said it's had a third party inspect its other warehouses and all have been deemed safe.

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