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Two Injured in Metro East Plant Explosion
CNN--A powerful explosion rocked the Olin Brass plant in East Alton Tuesday.
Olin subcontractor Cory Douglas and his fellow workers were on the parking lot when it all happened around 12 p.m.
"The truck kind of vibrated," Douglas said. "That's about it. It sounded pretty much like an explosion, a bomb going off."
Two people were injured. One was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Creve Couer, where there is a renowned burn unit.
"He was on a stretcher, all wrapped up, and I couldn't really see him," Douglas said.
The other person was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
The East Alton fire department was alerted, and firefighters staged outside the plane, because Olin Brass has its own team of some 30 firefighters and EMTs on staff.
"They respond when a call comes, so we have our own emergency notification system," Olin Brass spokesperson Ann Pipkin said. "A call comes in, it comes to our call center, and our folks respond."
Olin Brass employes about 1,000 people.
During the process of making copper, temperatures can rise to 2300 degrees. The plant can produce 1 million pounds of copper alloys a day. They're used in the ammunition, automotive, and electronic industries.
Witnesses say if you look at the roof, you can see the black dust that results from production, but on the south end of the plant, it's almost clear--apparently the result of the blast.
"A loud explosion happened, and then dust on the roof popped off, and then all the fire trucks started coming in," Douglas said.
Roche Madden, CNN