PA Plant Oven Blast Kills 1, Injures 2

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 @ 05:02 PM gHale


An “equipment related accident” left one employee dead and two injured in an industrial accident at a Mersen USA plant in western Pennsylvania.

Noah Nichelson, the general manager of the plant in St. Marys, said the “equipment related accident” occurred about 9 a.m. Thursday.

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Officials at Mersen USA said an internal response team saved the life of one worker after an oven explosion killed a visiting employee.

Killed in the blast Thursday was 52-year-old Arwed Ralf Uecker. Uecker was global director of research and development for Mersen USA Bn Group, based in Boonton, NJ. Uecker was visiting the plant in St. Marys when he died in the blast.

Also injured but saved by the response team was 57-year-old Neil Carter, a production supervisor. He remained in a Pittsburgh hospital Tuesday in serious but stable condition with unspecified injuries.

The company says a third worker treated at a hospital and then released “with no injuries related to the incident.”

The company hasn’t commented on the cause of the blast, which under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A company statement said the firm is cooperating with investigators and remains focused on helping the families of the employees.

The plant is about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of work the employees were doing when the accident occurred, but Elk County emergency dispatchers said there was an explosion.



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