Paint Booth Blast at MN Truck Center

Friday, January 13, 2017 @ 01:01 PM gHale


Four employees suffered severe injuries at McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing in Dodge Center, MN, after an explosion in the facility’s paint booth.

Four employees suffered severe injuries at McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing in Dodge Center, MN, after an explosion in the facility’s paint booth.

Four employees at McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing in Dodge Center, MN, ended up severely injured in an explosion at the plant Wednesday morning. 

Emergency crews got the call to the facility at 10:32 a.m. after an explosion in the paint booth of the Final Paint Building on the north side of the facility, said Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose. The exact origin of the explosion remains unknown.

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Rose said a total of four employees suffered serious injuries and were transported to hospitals.

Two ended up airlifted with severe burn injuries — one to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and another to Mayo Clinic. Two more employees ended up rushed via ambulance to Mayo Clinic – Saint Marys with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, although the nature of their injuries remains unknown.

An additional two people ended up treated for minor injuries on the scene. The injured employees have not been identified.

Most of the employees who work in the area were out of the building undergoing training when the explosion happened. Had that not been the case, more employees could have been hurt, Rose said.

Rose said there was a head count right away after the explosion and all McNeilus employees are accounted for.

“You can imagine they are probably shook up with an explosion like this,” Rose said of the employees. “From what I can understand, it was quite an explosion.”

McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing is part of Oshkosh Corporation, and is a major employer in Dodge County. All production employees ended up sent home for the remainder of the day.

“There is a full on investigation” into the exact cause of the explosion, involving the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the gas company and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office,” Rose said.

The building where the explosion happened is long and narrow, and Rose said the doors on both ends of the building were damaged by the blast.

“There was a lot of smoke,” Rose said. 

Rose emphasized the building and the area around it is now safe, and the roadway has since reopened. 

McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing will release more information in the coming days, Rose added.



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