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Videos: Major explosion at Ohio metal plant; 14 injured

A fire engine. (Dreamstime/TNS)
February 20, 2023

Multiple fire departments responded to a major explosion at a manufacturing plant in northeast Ohio that injured more than a dozen people and sent a large plume of black smoke into the sky on Monday.

The explosion happened around 2:30 p.m. at the facilities of I. Schumann & Co., a copper alloy manufacturer, WJW reported. The property is located near an interstate highway in the community of Oakwood Village on Alexander Road.

Oakwood Fire Department Captain Brian DiRocco said 14 people at the plant were injured, many with burn wounds, Reuters reported. At least one is in critical condition, and one was pulled from debris. Thirteen people were taken to a hospital, while one was being treated on-site.

The fire was largely extinguished by 4:23 p.m., News 5 Cleveland reported. Residents of nearby communities have reported smelling burning oil, which authorities said will likely remain “for a while yet,” WKYC reported.

The incident came after this month’s train derailment to the southeast in East Palestine, Ohio, which unleashed toxic chemicals into the environment and has left residents there fearing for their health.

Footage taken from the air showed multiple fire engines spraying the fire with water.

Clouds of heavy smoke were visible on a nearby roadway.

Another video posted on social media shows eyewitness reactions to the smoke plume visible from some distance away.

The explosion sent pieces of the plant flying into properties across the street. An employee at a gaming store across the street said it “looks like a volcano erupted,” Cleveland 19 News reported.

Photos from News 5 Cleveland reporter Jordan Vandenberge showed asphalt burnt by charred chunks of debris and metal objects thrown into buildings across the street.

A video from Cleveland 19 News reporter Caitlin McCarthy shows a piece of rock in the grass that she said was still smoking. She said businesses across the street reported molten rock flying onto their buildings.

Witnesses told News 5 Cleveland that there were two explosions: a smaller one, then a larger one.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.