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Large explosion at brass plant injuries 2 in workplace accident

A May 27 explosion at a brass sheet metal plant in East Alton, Illinois, sent two to the hospital. According to a spokesperson for the plant, the accident happened around 12:00 a.m. in the casting facility area of the plant. Firefighters from the company's own fire department worked alongside members of the East Alton Fire Department to bring the situation under control.

First responders then used a helicopter to evacuate one of the injured workers to a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The other worker traveled to the hospital via ambulance. He received treatment there and was later released.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown at this time, but the accident has drawn the attention of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Investigators from that agency arrived to the location sometime following the incident.

The blast was described as sounding as though a loud gun had just been fired according to a group of subcontractors who were near the area and felt the concussive shockwave. One of the witnesses described a cloud of dust floating upwards from the roof of the massive plant.

The factory manufactures brass sheet metal in large sheets. Those sheets are then sometimes used in the formation of shell casings, auto parts and other industries.

Workplace accidents can run the gamut from the common slip and fall to becoming injured by poorly maintained machinery. Every worker has a right to go to work, earn wages and then return home safely at the end of the workday. Workers who find themselves injured as the result of a preventable accident may be entitled to workers' compensation for the time missed due to their injury as well as for their medical expenses.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "2 workers injured in blast at Olin Brass plant in East Alton" Paul Hampel, May. 27, 2014

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