An explosion at a metal alloy factory in Ohio on Monday afternoon left one person dead and 13 people injured.
Thirteen victims were injured in the fire and immediately taken to nearby hospitals. One of the injured was reportedly in critical condition, and a 46-year-old man died after the blast at the I. Schumann & Co. Plant located in Bedford, Ohio.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, Captain Brian DiRocco of the Oakwood Village Fire Department said it was a huge explosion and that various area departments were helping with area chiefs assisting the fire department.
The fire captain said that by Monday afternoon, his team had put out the bulk of the fire with the help of several other fire departments. The captain said they were yet to find out what caused the blast.
I. Schumann & Co released a statement regarding the deadly incident saying that the fire had significantly damaged the facility. According to the statement, the company’s main focus was helping first responders, and their top priority was the health and safety of their employees.
Four injured were transported to the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Two are still in critical condition.
The explosion blew out a building wall, with photos showing several cars parked outside the building crushed by bricks and other debris.
The deceased was identified as 46-year-old Steven Mullins by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The company said in its statement that Mullins had worked in their maintenance department for almost three decades, adding that he was a valued colleague.
The explosion was also felt by other residents, who reported seeing black smoke and debris in the area. The flying debris also damaged cars in the parking lot of a store next to the factory.
DiRocco said at the conference that he had checked the building’s safety standards numerous times as a fire inspector. He described the factory as a “relatively safe plant.”
A similar blast occurred at the same plant over one and a half decades ago, in April 2006, leaving five employees injured.