Employee injured in Statesville flour mill explosion

Employee injured in Statesville flour mill explosion

Employee injured in Statesville flour mill explosion

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by WCNC.com & Kathleen Purvis / Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on April 7, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 7:06 AM

STATESVILLE, N.C. -- One man was injured and a wall collapsed in an explosion and fire Sunday morning at a flour mill in Statesville.

The explosion happened about 8:30 a.m. while two maintenance workers were repairing a piece of equipment in a basement at Bartlett Milling Co. on South Center Street, according to Statesville police.

One of the men turned the power back on, causing a spark and flash fire. A second man in the basement was injured. After his co-worker got him out of the building, he was taken to Iredell Memorial and flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

His name and condition have not been released.

There were 25 to 26 people working in another part of the building who were evacuated, although there were no evacuations in the area around the mill.

The three-alarm fire in the building caused a collapse of an outer wall on the southwest corner of the building. Access to the building made containing the fire difficult.

The Statesville Fire Department is expected to be on the scene throughout the day to make sure the fire is contained.

A spokeswoman with the mill sent NBC Charlotte the following statement reguarding the explosion:

"There was an explosion at the Bartlett Milling Company facility in Statesville, North Carolina, on Sunday morning. 

A Bartlett employee was injured, and was driven to the hospital by a fellow employee. 

We do not yet know the extent of his injuries, and his well-being certainly is our first concern.

The incident occurred in the "cleaning house," a building which houses the early stages of the milling process; the flour mill itself experienced little or no damage.

The Fire Department completed its work, but is maintaining a watch for several hours. 
We are working with our experts as well as local authorities to assess exactly what happened."

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