OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) — A maintenance worker was killed in explosion at an Ohio metals plant that sparked a large fire and sent more than a dozen people to hospitals, with at least two in critical condition, authorities said.
Emergency crews were called to the I. Schumann & Co. copper alloy company in the Cleveland suburb of Oakwood Village shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. The blast shook the ground and scattered debris for a couple of hundred yards, damaging several vehicles, while smoke billowed into the sky in a cloud visible for miles.
Steven Mullins, 46, of North Ridgeville, who had been with the company for nearly 30 years, was killed in the explosion, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. Thirteen others were being treated at hospitals, mostly for burns and related injuries, authorities said.
The cause of the explosion remained under investigation Tuesday. But fire officials said the explosion likely happened in the building’s foundry, where molten metals are held in kettles. The state Fire Marshal’s Office, which is leading the probe, said Tuesday the blast did not appear to be “the result of a criminal act.”
I. Schumann & Co. LLC, which calls itself a fourth-generation family-owned and managed business, “recycles and trades a wide variety of scrap and produces brass and bronze alloys in ingot and pellet forms,” according to its website.
The company issued a statement Tuesday in which it mourned Mullins’ death and thanked emergency responders for their efforts.
“We intend to cooperate with OSHA and other officials in their investigation as we search for answers in this tragic accident,” the company said. “We are working with our employees regarding their needs while the facility is idle and hope to have clarity on our operations in the near future.”
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