Recycling Plant Blast Kills 2, Injures 1

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 @ 02:08 PM gHale

Two people died and a third suffered injuries in an explosion at a recycling business in Granite City, IL.

Officials say a mortar blew up outside of a building at Totall Metal Recycling, said Granite City Police Major Jeff Connor.

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“The scene evaluation determined some type of mortar round appeared to be a cause of the explosion with this information it was determined the area was unsafe,” he said.

Explosive experts from Scott Air Force Base, the State of Illinois, St. Louis City and County, A.T.F. and other agencies swarmed the company and secured the area before anyone could go in and remove the bodies of the victims.

The company recycles a variety of materials including ammunition and military devices. A company spokesman said, however, those items should arrive inert, and safe. Police said this is not a criminal investigation.

“The incident occurred like any other industrial accident,” said Police Chief Rich Hill.

In 2011 and 2012 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the company for lead exposure and respiratory problems. The company has since fixed the problems.

The company released a statement calling the two dead workers colleagues and friends. The statement said they are praying for their families, and will provide counseling for employees and cooperate with investigators.

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