Explosion at GM plant kills one, eight injured taken to hospital

The explosion occurred Tuesday afternoon and involved a chlorine-dioxide tank, which continued to spill after the explosion.
By Ananth Baliga  |  July 2, 2014 at 8:48 AM
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FORT WAYNE, Ind., July 2 (UPI) -- A chemical explosion at a General Motors metal-stamping plant has left one person dead and eight others injured near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Cliff Sessoms, the city's deputy police chief, confirmed the explosion had resulted in one death and eight injuries Tuesday afternoon. Of the eight people taken to the hospital, four were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and four were discharged without requiring any treatment, said Bill Grotz, a spokesman for GM.

Grotz added that a "contract team member" had died during a "small chemical explosion." The worker who died was an employee of Quaker Chemical Corp., a maker of specialty chemicals based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

"When the explosion occurred, employees were evacuated and fire department and other emergency personnel responded quickly," Grotz said. "Our condolences and deepest sympathies go to our team member's family and colleagues."

"Our heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with this employee's family and the other injured workers and their families," Quaker Chemical Chief Executive Officer Michael F. Barry said in the statement. "We will work with GM and government agencies to understand what occurred."

The Marion Metal Center provides tampings and sheet-metal assembly for multiple GM models throughout North America and employs more than 1,600 people. GM said they canceled the third shift Tuesday evening but expected the plant to resume operations Wednesday morning for the first shift.

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