Rest of whiskey storage warehouse collapses in Kentucky

Rest of whiskey storage warehouse collapses in Kentucky

What was left standing of a Kentucky distillery's bourbon aging warehouse came crashing down on Wednesday, around two weeks after the first half of the building collapsed, contaminating nearby waters and killing almost 1,000 fish.

An estimated 9,000 bourbon barrels tumbled to the ground Wednesday, 12 days after approximately 9,000 barrels were impacted in the first collapse at Warehouse 30.

Half of those barrels were affected by the initial collapse, and the rest were piled up in what a spokesperson for Nelson County Emergency Management described to CBS News as "a mountain of bourbon barrels".

Environmental and wildlife officials were on the scene to determine if any whiskey spilled into a nearby waterway, he said. The Sazerac statement indicated that plans had been put in place after that collapse to have equipment on site in preparation for any additional spills, and that the distillery's team was able to respond quickly to the second collapse.

After the initial collapse last month, the company said the damaged warehouse held about 18,000 barrels.

The half of the rickhouse left standing after the original June 22 event collapsed Wednesday afternoon, releasing an unknown amount of additional alcohol in the process.

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The team are working with the local fire and police department and the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection are onsite to provide guidance.

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

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

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. Bardstown is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Louisville. The images show a large mound of bourbon barrels amid the splintered beams and metal roofing of the structure.

Kentucky's bourbon sector is in the midst of a more than $1.1 billion boom that includes expanded production facilities, more storage warehouses and new tourism centers.

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