Blast at Ohio metals plant sends at least 13 to hospitals

February 21, 2023 GMT

OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at a metals plant in Ohio on Monday sparked a large fire and sent more than a dozen people to hospitals, with at least two of them in critical condition, authorities said.

Emergency crews were called to the I. Schumann & Co. copper alloy company in the Cleveland suburb of Oakwood Village shortly before 3 p.m. The blast shook the ground and scattered debris for a couple of hundred yards, damaging several vehicles, while the fire sent smoke billowing to the sky in a cloud visible for miles.

Oakwood Fire Captain Brian DiRocco told reporters that 13 people were transferred to several area hospitals and another patient was still being examined. One person had to be pulled from the debris and was being treated while being taken to a medical helicopter. A number of people had burn injuries, but all plant staff had been accounted for and the fire was under control with crews mopping up hot spots, he said.

I. Schumann & Co. LLC, which calls itself a fourth-generation family-owned and managed business, “recycles and trades a wide variety of scrap and produces brass and bronze alloys in ingot and pellet forms,” according to its website.

The company said in a statement that “an explosion of unknown origin” injured employees and significantly damaged its facility. It said it was supporting emergency responders and will ensure employees get the medical care they need.

MetroHealth spokesperson Dorsena Koonce said it was treating four people, two of them critical. A University Hospitals official said seven patients were being treated at Ahuja Medical Center but there was no word on their conditions.