Two workers burned after explosion at Utah titanium plant
Two workers caught in an explosion at a Tooele County titanium factory Tuesday afternoon were flown to the University of Utah to be treated for second-degree burns and exposure to toxic chemicals, county officials said.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the explosion, which was first reported just before 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the ATI plant on Rowley Road in Grantsville. The factory, an Allegheny Technologies facility, produces titanium products.
The workers, two men ages 38 and 53, suffered burns to their chests, hands and faces and may have been exposed to a cocktail of chemicals that includes tetrachloride-4, magnesium chloride and chlorine, said Tooele County spokesman Wade Mathews.
They were in stable condition as they were airlifted to the hospital, Mathews said.
Several units from the North Tooele County Fire Department responded to the scene and blocked the road to through traffic.
The workers were decontaminated at the scene by fire fighters before being flown to the U.'s burn unit in Salt Lake City. Two Mountain West ambulances also responded to the factory.
"The most important thing is to secure the area and make sure all employees are taken care of," said ATI spokesman Dan Greenfield, who added the company did not have enough information to comment further.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal agency that enforces workplace safety standards, was also contacted following the incident and will likely conduct their own investigation.