WARSAW, Ind. (AP) _ An explosion and fire ripped through a foundry early today, injuring at least 18 people including several who were critically burned.
The explosion at Dalton Foundries Inc. happened about 2:45 a.m. when a water pipe ruptured and mixed with iron being produced in one of the foundry’s furnaces, said Bob Robinson, owner of BOMAR Security. The company provides security at the plant.
The resulting fire was extinguished by 5 a.m., he said.
Many of the injured suffered third-degree burns, said Linda Olinger, a nursing supervisor at Kosciusko Community Hospital, where some of the victims were being treated. She said 18 people were injured.
The most critically burned were being transferred by helicopter and ambulance to the burn unit at St. Joseph Medical Center in Fort Wayne, about 40 miles to the east.
``At this point, we’re expecting up to 14 arrivals and as many as seven that are critical,″ said Mark Hisey, director of facilities at St. Joseph.
The foundry, which makes gray-iron castings from scrap metal, employs about 700 people.