As StateImpact reporter Amanda Loder reported last month, on the morning of Tuesday, April 24th, the 26-year old newlywed and father-to-be Ben Harris was “doing a routine task at the Portsmouth plant–pumping a plastic keg full of compressed air so that he could clean it.” The keg exploded, fatally wounding Harris. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began an investigation, and Red Hook began their own as well. But more than a month later, the cause of the explosion is still unknown.
Although OSHA is still investigating, Red Hook brewery has hired an independent investigator to get to the root of the blast. As Fosters Daily Democrat reports,
“The incident raises eyebrows in the brewing community because Redhook officials said it involved a plastic keg, rather than a traditional stainless steel keg — the industry standard for several decades.”
Fosters continues: “the keg involved in the accident was not owned by Redhook or any other brewery under the Craft Brew Alliance umbrella, the company has said. The keg was delivered to the brewery in error as part of a delivery of empty keg returns.”
The obvious question is: why did Red Hook receive a plastic keg in error? We’ll keep you posted.