WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At least 15 people were injured Friday when a nitrogen line exploded at the Beechcraft aircraft manufacturing facility causing part of the building to collapse, authorities say.
Daniel Wegner, deputy fire chief for Sedgwick County, said the explosion happened at around 8 a.m. at the facility. John Gallagher, the county’s EMS director, said 11 people were taken to hospitals and four were treated at the scene. No one was killed.
Workers inside the plant at the time say some were disoriented after hearing what they call an explosion.
“What felt like an earthquake,” said one person who was in the building at the time. “It was like an explosion there is no other way to describe it. I saw darkness and dirt in the air. I saw everything moving around because, like I said, there was a pretty big explosion. And the walls were flexing and the wall I was standing next to, it moved four feet.”
Wesley Medical Center said they received five patients. Two were treated and released. Three were admitted and are in stable condition.
Ascension Via Christi St. Francis said they received seven patients by ambulance and two by private vehicle. Two patients have been upgraded to fair condition, according to Via Christi St. Francis. A third upgraded to good condition, one patent in serious condition, and four were treated and released.
Wegner said the explosion happened when a 3-inch liquid nitrogen line ruptured.
“The lines that were ruptured as I told you earlier were shut down, we’re currently off-gassing a couple of tanks to one-inch valves, which is going to take about 30-45 minutes to off-gas the rest of the nitrogen,” Wegner said.
The gas posed no risk to nearby residents, officials said.
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Source: KSN News