Explosion at Wichita, Kansas Aviation Plant Injures 15 Employees

December 27, 2019

An explosion occurred this morning at the Textron Aviation Plant in east Wichita, Kansas, leaving 15 people injured. According to KWCH 12, emergency crews were called just after 8:00 a.m., and were on site shortly after. Initial reports quoted the EMS coordinator stating 11 people were taken to the hospital with injuries, and others arrived in private cars. This afternoon, the number rose to 15. Fortunately, fewer people than usual were at the working on site today due to the plant closing for the holidays. NBC News reported that James Fromme, a chief for the Wichita Fire Department, said there were no reports of anyone trapped in the building.

The Wichita Fire Department concluded that “a nitrogen gas line ruptured in plant three,” and that “the explosion was contained to that area.” No health-hazard warnings were made, although people could see smoke rising from the ruptured vessel. Sedgwick County confirmed this afternoon that crews from both Wichita and Sedgwick County responded, including a Hazardous Materials team. The County states that one injury was “potentially serious,” and there “were no fatalities.”

One employee, who was inside during the explosion but not seriously injured described the explosion as feeling “like an earthquake.” He claimed: “by the time I got oriented, there was a pressure wave … the walls were flexing … there was dirt permeating through the cracks on the walls … it was an explosion. There was no other way to describe it.”

CNBC reported that the explosion resulted from a 3-inch liquid nitrogen gas line, which “also damaged a storage tank, causing gas to vent out of the building.” The gas was not harmful, according to Deputy Chief Daniel Wegner of the Sedgwick County Fire Department.

The damage was contained to “Plant 3,” which is used for composite manufacturing and experimental aircraft fabrication. Stephanie Harder, a spokeswoman for Textron, stated that currently under development was The SkyCourier – a utility turboprop airplane that is due to enter service in 2020. Textron Aviation is known for manufacturing Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft. Ms. Harder’s statement included the following: “our primary concern is obviously for all of the employees and contractors and visitors on site during this incident … Difficult day. Difficult news.”

Contact an Experienced Industrial Accident Lawyer if you are Injured by an Explosion

Our top-rated plant explosion lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP have experience investigating negligent companies and the causes of incidents such as the Textron Aviation Plant Explosion.

If you or a loved one was hurt in connection with the Textron Aviation Plant Explosion or in any other type of explosion accident, call us for a free, confidential consultation at 800-489-2216. Experienced lawyers can help you navigate extensive investigations, explain how the legal process works, and protect and preserve your rights to recovery for injuries sustained on the job or otherwise.

Injured people deserve compensation from negligent companies. Safety should always be the primary concern when operating with hazardous materials and dangerous equipment, and the common thread in most every explosion is a mistake or sacrifice of safety procedure.

You do not have to fight for compensation alone. Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP to guide you in the right direction.

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