OAN Roy Francis
12:16 PM PT – Tuesday, February 21, 2023
One person was killed and 13 people are in the hospital after an explosion at a metal factory near Bedford, Ohio on Monday.
Around 2:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon, emergency services responded to a call about an explosion at I. Shumann & Co. with a subsequent fire. Reports say that debris from the explosion had been blown over business and cars nearby.
The reason behind the explosion is still unclear, according to witness reports a second, stronger explosion happened around 2:30 p.m. as well.
The explosion was powerful enough to blow away the brick wall of factory, causing bricks to thrown across the street along with steel beams and large metal pieces.
Emergency personnel had transported multiple burn victims to a nearby hospital, with one person being flown out. In total thirteen people had been injured in the explosion with one succumbing to his wounds, 46-old-yeard Steven Mullins of North Ridgeville, and two others reportedly in critical conditions.
“It’s a foundry, so you’re dealing with molten hot metal—so there’s always an inherent danger,” Oakwood Fire Captain Brian Dirocco said when asked about the cause of the explosion.
The Fire Department stated that the cause of the explosion is under investigation and that there had been reports of a smell of “burning oil” in the area, however they also said that the facility is “a relatively safe plant.”
Several fire departments had reported to the scene, and the fire was put out around 5:00 p.m. with crews working on the hot spots of the site.
The company also put out a statement in regards to the incident.
“An explosion of unknown origin struck our Bedford, Ohio facility today resulting in injuries to employees and significant damage to the facility. Our efforts now are focused on supporting the first responders who came on scene quickly to help our employees. The safety and health of our employees is our top priority and we commit to ensuring they receive the medical care they need. We will work alongside investigators in their search for answers as part of our commitment to Northeast Ohio where we have been operating for more than 100 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with our team members and their families at this difficult time.”