A ground-shaking explosion Feb. 20 at the I. Schumann & Co. metal and paint plant at 22500 Alexander Road in Oakwood sent more than a dozen people to hospitals, shook nearby homes and filled the sky with thick black smoke.
The explosion happened around 2:15 p.m. Oakwood Fire Captain Brian DiRocco told reporters that 13 people were transferred to several area hospitals and another patient was still being examined. One person had to be pulled from the debris and was being treated while being taken to a medical helicopter. A number of people had burn injuries, but all plant staff had been accounted for and the fire was under control with crews mopping up hot spots, he said.
“We have a squad and a command vehicle out there, and we are still trying to put it out, and until then, there is no investigation possible as to its cause,” Solon Fire Department Lt. Dave Berber told the Cleveland Jewish News. “It’s currently an active fire scene.”
MetroHealth spokesperson Dorsena Koonce said it was treating four people, two of them critical. A University Hospitals official said seven patients were being treated at Ahuja Medical Center but there was no word on their conditions.
The company said in a statement that “an explosion of unknown origin” injured employees and significantly damaged its facility. It said it was supporting emergency responders and will ensure employees get the medical care they need.
According to company website, I. Schumann & Co. LLC works with a wide variety of metals and manufactures eco-friendly alloys, iducto-melt pellets and ingots.
This is a developing story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.