Bourbon warehouse’s collapse raises concerns of possible alcohol spill

Aging barrels of bourbon, timbers and twisted sheet metal are what’s left after approximately half of a Barton Brands rickhouse collapsed Friday morning.


The warehouse involved in the collapse is located in the circled are on the aerial photo of the Barton Brands complex. Click to enlarge.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, June 22, 2018, 1 p.m. (Updated 6 p.m.) — One of Barton Brands bourbon warehouses partially collapsed Friday morning on the Barton Brands property here in Bardstown.

The incident was reported just after 11 a.m. by a passerby who spotted the damaged warehouse from Boston Road, US 62.

The Bardstown Fire Department was dispatched to respond to the warehouse collapse. Photos from the scene show that approximately one half of the warehouse collapsed in a pile of sheet metal, timber and bourbon barrels. Up to 9, 000 barrels of the approximately 20,000 barrels held in the warehouse were scattered.

There’s no official word yet from the company on may have caused the collapse but it isn’t believed to be weather related. No one was injured in the collapse.

According to Bardstown Fire Chief Billy Mattingly, the company said it was having issues with one wall of the warehouse, and had been working on it. No one was at the warehouse at the time of the collapse.

Sheet metal, timbers and bourbon barrels lay in a heap in the wake of Friday’s collapse of half of one of the Barton Brands rickhouses. Bourbon is stored in the warehouses as it is aged.

Engineers were on the scene Friday afternoon to determine if any of the barrels involved in the collapse were leaking alcohol that could run into the nearby Withrow Creek, which empties into the Beech Fork River upstream from the city’s Sutherland Road wastewater plant that treats city wastewater.

The City of Bardstown pumps raw water from the Beech Fork River to Sympson Lake, but the intake is upstream from Withrow Court.

During the noon hour Friday, Barton Brands was not allowing news media to visit the site due to safety concerns. Representatives from the county’s Emergency Management were arriving at the scene at the time.

The warehouse that collapsed is located at the southwestern portion of the Barton Brands property.

Check back for additional updates as this story develops.


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