PITTSTON, PA., DEC. 15 -- A blast destroyed a building at an explosives plant today, and three workers were missing and presumed dead, authorities said.
Two workers in another building suffered minor injuries in the blast, which was felt more than 10 miles away and shattered windows in businesses and homes within several hundred feet, fire department spokesman Joseph Pupa said.
The missing men were making a ton of nitroglycerin in the Independent Explosives Co. when the blast occurred about 1 p.m., Luzerne County Coroner George Hudock said.
Rescuers broke off their search at nightfall and planned to return Wednesday to look for the bodies, Hudock said.
No fire followed the explosion at the plant, which comprises 15 to 20 buildings about 100 yards apart and makes plastic explosives for industrial use, Pupa said.
The industrial park lies 160 miles north of Philadelphia in northeastern Pennsylvania. Four 200,000-gallon petroleum distribution tanks, a cement company and postal offices also are located in the industrial park, Pupa said.
Two workers were treated at Geisinger-Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and released, a hospital official said.
The cause of the blast was not immediately known. State police, fire officials, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Environmental Protection Agency were investigating.
A spokesman at Independent Explosives headquarters in Scranton declined comment.
The missing men were identified as Frank Falkinburg, 60, of Pittston; Sylvester Griffith, 27, of Wanamie, and Ramond Mulligan, 36, of Blakeley.