Nitrogen Falls into Molten Metal Causes Blast

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 10:04 AM gHale

An employee dropped a bottle of nitrogen into molten metal, causing an explosion at an aluminum manufacturing plant in Troy, MI, Wednesday.

The explosion threw hot metal onto the ceiling of the building which caught fire at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and quickly spread throughout the building, said Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey.

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The building was a total loss, with the damage estimated at $5 million.

Casey said six to eight people were in the building but no one suffered an injury. The man who caused the fire was wearing protective gear.

Firefighters from Troy and Temple were at the scene. Casey said he expected they would be there all day Wednesday and possibly Thursday. They were using large equipment to tear down the building so they can put out hot spots still burning inside the building.

Casey said the fire looked to be an accident.

According to the Anderton Castings website, the building was 142,000 square feet sitting on 30 acres of land. It was one of four Anderton facilities around the world, with other facilities in France, Mexico and Michigan.

The company markets itself as a leading supplier of aluminum chassis and powertrain components for the automotive, on- and off-highway and construction equipment.

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