Massive explosion at metals factory kills one and injures at least 12

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One person was killed and at least a dozen injured in a massive explosion at an Ohio metals manufacturer that sent molten debris flying through the sky.

First responders called the blast at the I Schumann & Co plant in Bedford, Ohio a ‘mass casualty event’ as multiple fire departments and ambulance companies were called to the scene around 3pm on Monday afternoon.

At least 12 people were injured and hospitalized in the explosion, and one person has since died from their injuries.

Smoke and flames could be seen for miles around the factory, which is situated about 15 miles outside of Cleveland.

The Oakwood Village Fire Department responded to the scene first before calling mutual aid companies for assistance.

‘When we got here we realized there were several injured people in the building. So we established an EMS sector that was triaging the patients,’ Oakwood Fire Captain Brian DiRocco said.

DiRocco confirmed that several victims were hospitalized with burn injuries, including one who is in critical condition. Most of the injuries were caused by the initial blast.

‘The people were mostly walking wounded. They were coming up to us,’ DiRocco said.

However, the captain also said that at least one person was pulled out of debris inside the building. The victim flown by helicopters to an area hospital.

Molten debris was scattered across several hundred yards around the factory, which produces copper alloys. It ignited fires and damaged cars in the surrounding parking lots.

DiRocco said he has inspected the facility for the last ten years in his role as fire inspector, and called the operation ‘a relatively safe plant.’

‘It’s a very safe place, except for the fact that it’s a foundry,’ DiRocco said. ‘So you’re dealing with molten hot metal, there’s always an inherent danger.’

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, DiRocco said. Schumann & Co said the blast was of ‘unknown origin’ in a statement.

‘Our efforts now are focused on supporting the first responders who came on scene quickly to help our employees,’ the company stated. ‘The safety and health of our employees is our top priority and we commit to ensuring they receive the medical care they need.’

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