1 person dead after Monday explosion and fire at Ohio metal factory

Feb 21, 2023, 7:29 PM
Multiple people were taken to hospitals after an explosion at a metal factory near Oakwood, Ohio. (...
Multiple people were taken to hospitals after an explosion at a metal factory near Oakwood, Ohio. (WEWS/CNN)

(CNN) — One of the 13 people taken to local hospitals after an explosion Monday at a metal factory near Oakwood, Ohio, has died, according to Captain Brian DiRocco with the Oakwood Village Fire Department.

The explosion was at the I. Schumann & Co. building, a metal alloy factory, DiRocco said.

“There was a lot of smoke, a lot of fire, and a lot of injured people,” DiRocco said at a news conference Tuesday, adding that the interior of the building looks “catastrophic” and that the damage is extensive.

DiRocco did not have an update on the condition of the others who were taken to hospitals. At least two were in critical condition Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center, where four patients were being treated, according to Dorsena Drakeford, a media relations specialist at the center.

Local officials have been working with the State Fire Marshal, EPA, ATF and OSHA since Monday afternoon in the investigation of the explosion and fire. The cause is still unknown.

Several people had burn injuries, DiRocco said. All staff have been accounted for, he added. One additional person was treated at the site, DiRocco said Monday.

The bulk of the fire was out as of 5 p.m. Monday. The explosion and fire occurred around 3 p.m. and left debris scattered around the area, according to DiRocco.

Several fire departments responded to a large fire at the scene, the Twinsburg Fire Department said. The fire department sent one crew to respond to patients and they transported at least one person to the hospital, the department told CNN.

With the fire located in the area of Walton Hills and Oakwood, many rural fire departments responded.

Stephenie Davis was at her job in Oakwood Village when she suddenly felt the entire building start to shake. She walked to a window and saw a “huge cloud of black smoke” coming from a building less than 1,000 feet away, Davis told CNN.

Davis and her coworkers went outside to see what happened and saw debris on the roof and scattered through the parking lot, she said.

“Some windows at our neighboring building in front of us were blown out, cars were damaged and debris was on the ground on fire,” Davis said.

Videos posted to Facebook show a large smoke cloud consuming the sky as flames continue to burn at a building across the street. Pictures show the burning debris in the parking lot next to a truck with dents and damage.

“Everyone was in shock and looking at their cars and the building where the smoke was exiting,” Davis said. “We heard another smaller boom and everyone started to either get in their cars to leave or go back into their work building for safety.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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1 person dead after Monday explosion and fire at Ohio metal factory