Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory collapses in Kentucky

According to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory that collapsed with workers inside in a severe tornado on Friday night in Mayfield, Ky., Will likely result in the most numbers. victims of the catastrophic storm.

“I think the biggest loss of life in this tornado event is and will be there, and it could end up being the biggest loss of life in any single location tornado event in the history of the world. ‘State,’ Beshear said at a press conference Saturday morning. conference.

“It’s heavy machinery … it’s the building that’s flattened. It’s cars from the parking lot that are on it. It’s huge metal drums, even the ones with corrosive chemicals that were in there. ‘inside. It’s … pretty horrible to see. “

Kentucky Live Updates:Get the latest storm damage news here

Here’s what you need to know about Mayfield Consumer Products and the lethal destruction of its candle factory.

What candle factory is in Mayfield, Kentucky?

It’s Mayfield Consumer Products at the west end of town, near Interstate 69.

How many people were inside the Kentucky Candle Factory when the tornado hit?

Beshear said there were “about 110 people” inside the candle factory, located at 112 Industrial Drive in Mayfield when the tornado hit.

“We think we’re going to lose at least dozens of these people,” Beshear said. “It’s very hard. Really hard. And we pray for each of these families.”

Fund:Gov. Andy Beshear says “dozens” dead in Mayfield, Ky. Candle factory hit by tornado

How many people working in the candle factory have died?

This number is not clear. Of the 110 workers who were at the plant when the tornado hit, there were only 40 worker rescues by first responders, according to Beshear. The last rescue took place at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, he said.

“We’re going to lose a lot of lives in this facility,” Beshear said. “And I pray that there will be another rescue, and I pray that there will be one or two. But it’s a very serious situation at this point.”

One worker who escaped alive in the midst of the rescue was Kyana Parsons-Perez, a 40-year-old woman who filmed several videos on Facebook Live as she was trapped under five feet of debris.

“I’m at work in Mayfield and we’re trapped,” she said in a video posted to Facebook posted Friday night. “Please help us.… We are trapped. The wall is stuck to me. No one can reach us.”

Rescue teams are searching for people among the remains of a candle factory on December 11 in Mayfield, Ky., After a deadly tornado ravaged the small community.

During an interview on The TODAY Show on Saturday morning, Parsons-Perez said, “I didn’t think I was going to make it at all – I was so scared.”

Another settlement worker on Friday night was Chelsea Logue, who said there had been “a really big boom and the building heaved, tipped and collapsed”.

“All you could hear was people screaming,” Logue told a Courier Journal reporter at the Mayfield site on Saturday afternoon as she returned to see if she could pick up anything. because she said she lost her debit cards, social security card and identity documents. In his car.

Where Did Kentucky Tornadoes Hit? :View damage by county

“I was stuck under a wall… by the grace of God I got out of there,” Logue said.

What are Mayfield consumer products?

Workers were killed at a candle factory when a tornado struck December 10 in Mayfield, Ky.

Mayfield Consumer Products is a Kentucky-based, family-owned designer and manufacturer of branded candles and home fragrance products.

According to a July 2018 press release, the company was founded in Mayfield in 1998 and employed 245 people at the time.

Hours before the tornado hit the candle factory, the company posted on its Facebook page Friday afternoon that it was looking to hire employees. A recent listing for a full-time candle production position had a starting salary of $ 8 an hour and required 10 to 12 hour shifts.

“We work 10-12 hour shifts Monday through Thursday,” the list says. “The day shift can start between 4:30 am and 7:00 am depending on the shift, and the afternoon shift starts at 5:00 pm”

“Mandatory overtime will frequently be required, either by extending your shift or by working Fridays,” the list says.

On July 25, 2018, the company announced that it was moving forward with an investment of $ 8.3 million by adding a new facility and expanding an existing facility, a move that would create 52 full-time jobs.

Specifically at this post, the plant that collapsed at 112 Industrial Drive on Friday night was to receive an investment of $ 2.77 million to expand, according to a press release at the time.

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“We are delighted with the growth MCP has enjoyed,” said Troy Propes, CEO of Mayfield Consumer Products at the time. “It’s a reflection of the dedicated employees who continue to exceed the expectations of our customers. “

To attract investment, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority pre-approved Mayfield for $ 1 million in tax incentives under the Kentucky Business Investment program in April and May 2018.

“Mayfield Consumer Products has been a great employer and strong corporate citizen for the past 20 years, and we are grateful for the company’s decision to continue to grow here in Kentucky,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin in the press release.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website, Mayfield Consumer Products recorded 12 workplace violations at its factory at 112 Industrial Drive on September 4, 2019.

Quotes ranged from issues related to electrical and respiratory protective equipment, as well as “hazardous energy control (lockout / tagging)”, “selection and use of work practices” and ” maintenance, guarantees and operational characteristics of exit routes “. The company has accumulated $ 16,350 in penalties.

Where are Mayfield consumer products sold?

Bath and Body Works is a large company that sells candles made from Mayfield consumer products, the company confirmed to the Courier Journal on Sunday morning.

“The Bath & Bath (sic) Works team is devastated by the horrific loss of life at the Mayfield consumer products plant – one of our long-time partners – during the Friday night tornadoes in Mayfield, in and around Kentucky, ”the company said in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to their loved ones and the entire Mayfield community, and we reached out to the mill owners to identify how we can directly support MCP associates and their families, as well as to identify other resources that would be most helpful. useful now and in the months to come, ”the company said.

He added, “We also donate to tornado relief efforts through the American Red Cross and local Kentucky agencies. All of us at Bath & Body Works keep the people of Mayfield in our thoughts. during this unimaginable tragedy. “

The Courier Journal confirmed that the factory also made candles for other companies.

Did the inmates at Graves County Jail work at the candle factory?

According to Parsons-Perez, inmates at the Graves County Jail were working at the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory when the building collapsed.

“They had prisoners working there from the Graves County Jail,” she told The TODAY Show.

“And when I tell you that some of these prisoners were working very hard to get us out… They could have used this moment to try to run away or whatever. They didn’t. They didn’t. were there (and) they were helping us. “

The Graves County Jail said in a Facebook post on Saturday morning that it “had completely evacuated the main jail” and transferred inmates to other jails in the county, “however, we had a few inmates working at the factory. candles “and an unidentified prison staff member has died.

People look around the candle factory where workers were killed when a tornado hit Friday night.  December 11, 2021

A spokesperson for the Graves County Jail confirmed to WFPL on Saturday night that seven inmates at the jail were working at the candle factory, and they are all found and alive. Some have fatal injuries, according to WFPL, and the prison deputy who supervised them has died.

However, Kentucky State Police said on Saturday night they were looking for one of the seven – Francisco Starks, 44 – who they say walked away from a hospital after being released from a treatment for tornado-related injuries.

The Graves County jail inmates working at Mayfield Consumer Products are relatively new. The Paducah Sun reported in July that the two groups were finalizing a deal for 10 state inmates to work in the candle factory and be paid for it, although the prison did not disclose to the newspaper how much. inmates would be paid.

And according to WFPL, Graves County jailer George Workman said inmates started working at the candle factory last week. He also told the media outlet that the program had been approved by the Kentucky Department of Corrections to help alleviate recurrence.

What did Mayfield Consumer Products say about the candle factory collapse?

Mayfield Consumer Products did not respond to a phone call and Facebook message seeking comment. As of Sunday afternoon, it emerged that the company had deleted its Facebook page and changed its website.

But Propes, the company’s CEO, released a statement on the company’s website on Saturday evening.

“Our Mayfield, Ky. Facility was destroyed on December 10, 2021 by a tornado, and tragically employees were killed and injured,” he wrote. “We are heartbroken about this, and our immediate efforts are to help those affected by this terrible disaster.

“Our business is family owned and our employees, some of whom have worked with us for many years, are treasured,” he continued. “We are immediately setting up an emergency fund to support our employees and their families.”

Propes concluded: “We are grateful to the first responders who heroically helped our employees after the storm. And we are grateful to those who generously offer to help us. Your prayers are needed and appreciated.”

The “MCP Candles Tornado Victims’ Fund” is available at paypal.com/paypalme/MCPTornadoVictimFund.

Where is mayfield, kentucky?

Mayfield is at the western end of Kentucky. It is 227 miles southwest of Louisville and 134 miles northwest of Nashville. The population of Mayfield, which is located in Graves County, Ky., Is approximately 9,800.

Contact Ben Tobin at [email protected] and 502-377-5675 or follow him on Twitter @Ben__Tobin.

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