Auto Service World
News   October 31, 2003   by Auto Service World

Component Manufacturer Suffers Explosion


Hayes Lemmerz International Inc. has temporarily closed its plant in Huntington, Indiana after an explosion there late Wednesday killed one and injured six.
The company, which makes wheels, brakes, powertrains and suspension components, said in a news release that the cause of the accident is being investigated.
The explosion occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening in a furnace used to heat aluminum, according to Alden Taylor, a spokesman for the Indiana state fire marshal’s office.
Huntington is located about 25 miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana, in the northeastern part of the state.
Three people were taken by air to St. Joseph Hospital’s burn unit in Fort Wayne, where one later died, Taylor said. One person remains hospitalized in critical condition and the third was treated and released, he added.
Four others were treated and released from a Huntington hospital, he said. About 75 to 80 people were working at the plant at the time.
Taylor said a preliminary investigation determined the explosion was caused by a dust buildup.
Hayes, based in Northville, Mich., said it’s unclear when the plant may reopen. The manufacturing side was not affected.
Spokeswoman Marika Diamond said the facility has several days of inventory on hand and will use its other plants, if necessary, to make sure customers have enough parts.


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