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Four Workers Injured in Explosion at Gary Factory

May 10, 1986

GARY, Ind. (AP) _ Four men were injured, one critically, when an ammonia cylinder exploded at a factory here, police said.

The explosion Friday afternoon forced evacuation of the American Juice Inc., plant, which has 50 to 60 employees, said company vice president Paul Bartak. He said fumes from the colorless ammonia were removed, and workers returned about two hours later.

Gary police spokesman William Burns said, ″We have no idea what caused the explosion.″

Bartak also said the cause was unknown. He said the cylinder is a steel container holding ammonia used to recharge the refrigeration system. He said the company, established in Gary two years ago, makes Wildwood beverages sold in northwest Indiana and Chicago.

Anthony Daniels, 28, suffered burns over 60 to 70 percent of his body, police said. He was listed in critical condition Friday night in Chicago’s Loyola Burn Center after being transferred from Gary Methodist Hospital.

Arthur Avington, 28, was reported in serious condition at Methodist Hospital. Two other workers were treated for ammonia gas exposure to the eyes and released, a hospital spokesman said.

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