Kansas explosion: 11 people injured in blast at aircraft plant in Wichita

Nitrogen explosion sends multiple victims to hospital

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 27 December 2019 17:17
11 people injured in explosion at US aircraft factory

Officials are responding to multiple reports of an explosion at the Beechcraft aircraft plant in Kansas.

Fire crews and emergency units were deployed as traffic was blocked off near the site of the plant, according to The Wichita Eagle.

John Gallagher, the head of Central County’s emergency medical services, said at least 11 patients were treated as a result of the explosion.

One victim experienced “potentially serious injuries”, according to Mr Gallagher, who added that there were no reported fatalities.

The incident occurred after a nitrogen explosion inside the facility at approximately 8:05am. ​

Officials said a "skeleton crew" was working inside the plant at the time due to the Christmas holiday, so less staff were potentially near the site of the explosion than there would have been during a normal business day.

Four additional people were observed by paramedics at the scene and later determined they did not need to go to hospital. Officials also said that early rumours of a fatality were false and there was no suggestion of a loss of life due to the explosion. ​

A secondary rupture was also in the process of being contained at the facility during a morning press conference. Officials described a reportedly non-hazardous white plume of gas that “looks like steam coming out of a vessel” which was emitting from the top of the facility.

Photos and videos of the explosion posted to social media showed the damage caused by debris to nearby vehicles.

Officials also said that a four-inch natural gas line had been severed at the plant.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

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