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One Dead, 18 Others Injured After Furnace Explosion

June 23, 1995

WARSAW, Ind. (AP) _ A worker died today of burns suffered a day earlier when a foundry furnace blew up and he and coworkers were sprayed with molten iron.

Four other workers were in critical condition after Thursday’s explosion, which was triggered by moisture that seeped into the furnace from a ruptured water line. Most of the other workers were treated and released. The dead worker was identified as Robert Wells, 41.

``Putting water on it is like putting dynamite on it,″ Fire Chief Ken Shepherd said. ``The water is more of a hazard than the metal.″

The foundry has been cited for 29 safety violations and fined $10,425 by state regulators since 1982, records show. The state labor department said its record was perhaps a little better than average for companies of its size.

The plant, which employs about 700 people, reported one other worker death since 1982, which is when the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration began maintaining computerized records.

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