Boeing Supplier Recovers from Blast

Friday, August 14, 2015 @ 04:08 PM gHale

Zodiac Aerospace is back in production less than a month after an explosion at the Boeing supplier rocked the small town of Newport, WA.

All employees have returned to work except for those still recovering from injuries as a result of the explosion, Zodiac Aerospace officials said.

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The company makes carbon composite panels for various commercial aircraft, including for Boeing.

Five people suffered injuries in the July 14 explosion, which shattered windows, cracked pillars, and damaged part of the roof. At one point, officials investigating the explosion raised questions about whether the company could still use the building.

But the company said production has restarted and the facility is now making glue, adhesives and resin. Zodiac has not started impregnating those elements into the carbon fiber.

The cause of the blast appeared to have been fumes from a “treater” machine that impregnates composite fabric with a resin, said Grant Sirevog, undersheriff for Pend Oreille County. He estimated the building size at about 22,000 square feet.

The Zodiac Aerospace statement said the company plans to start making composite panels in Newport this week, and they are “rebuilding a production capacity similar to the one before the accident.”

The company is the largest employer in Newport, which is on the Idaho border, with a population of 2,100.

The factory there is just one small unit of the global Zodiac Aerospace, based in Plaisir, France.