Update: 1/9/2009 11:12am
(JASPER) - A seemingly accidental explosion in Jasper this morning has sent eight people to the hospital with minor injuries at the Indiana Laminate plant.
Officer Rick Chambers with the Jasper Police Department tells WBIW News the explosion occurred in a dust bin collector near CR100 South in the city at 7:30am this morning.
Chambers says area hospitals have told him that they have seen up to 8 patients as a result of the incident, however, they have all since been treated and released with minor injuries.
The fire was contained to just the dust bin collector in question, and everyone in the area has since returned to their nearby homes and businesses.
A more detailed information release is expected from the Jasper Fire Department when they finish working the scene.
Update from Network Indiana:
The explosion at Indiana Furniture Flat Line Assembly Plant in Jasper early this morning sent eight people to the hospital.
According to Indiana Furniture President Rich Slayton, a panel got stuck in the machine, caused a small spark and ultimately traveled to the dust collecting system and exploded.
The explosion occurred on the northeast corner of the machine room and blew out everything west, which includes the finishing room.
There were approximately 60 people working at the time of the explosion.
The amount of damage is undetermined at this time. Slayton said even parts of the building that weren't affected by the explosion have water damage due to the water sprinklers.
Jasper Fire Chief Kenny Hochesang says two people were taken by personal vehicle to Jasper Memorial Hospital for minor lacerations.
Four people were taken by ambulance to Jasper Memorial for precautionary measures concerning the chemical acetone. Hochesang says this is the first time anything like this has happened and the building has been there since the mid 90s.
Slayton also mentioned workers will go work at the other area plants so they will not miss work.
Many different officials are on the scene including the Health Department, Utility Department, IDEM, State Police, Jasper City Police, and Jasper Fire Department.
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