9000 bourbon barrels crash down in Kentucky warehouse collapse

Debris is piled in a heap after a section of a bourbon storage warehouse at the Barton 1792 Distillery collapsed Friday

About 9,000 stacked bourbon barrels plummeted to the ground at a distillery building in the USA state of Kentucky when part of the structure collapsed.

Bardstown Fire Chief Bill Mattingly said the warehouse, which is on a steep hill, collapsed "length-wise", and left the other half-leaning and in danger of buckling, the Kentucky Standard reported.

Thousands of whiskey barrels were sent crashing into a massive heap Friday after a large section of a storage warehouse collapsed at a distillery in the heart of Kentucky bourbon country.

The warehouse was built on a concrete foundation and had a wooden structure with aluminum siding, Spalding said. Milt Spalding, PIO for the Nelson County Emergency Management, said they do not know what caused the collapse.

The Emergency Management director said he has attended to warehouse fires, but never a collapse.

'We are assessing how numerous impacted barrels can be recovered, ' Louisiana-based spirits company Sazerac spokeswoman Amy Preske said. A police official said there was no one inside when the roof caved in.

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The collapse will not affect normal operations at the distillery which will continue to be open for tours and will resume business operations.

Officials aren't sure if any of the bourbon spilled. The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has been on site and the Distillery team implemented a number of actions to minimize any environmental risk.

Barton 1792 Distillery is owned by Sazerac, which is based in New Orleans and also owns Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. According to Spalding the building houses about 20,000.

The Barton distillery, established in 1879, includes 29 storage warehouses and 22 other buildings, according to its website.

Bardstown is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Louisville.


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