December 2, 2020

Newnan plant explosion injures five

(Newnan, GA/WSB-TV) — Five people were injured when an aluminum plant exploded, rattling windows across Newnan Wednesday morning.

Authorities say the blast happened around 9:15 a.m. at the Bonnell Aluminum plant on 29 Bonnell Street. A huge hole can be seen at the plant.

Two people with life-threatening injuries were taken to Atlanta Medical Center, and three others were taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

A spokesperson for the plant said Wednesday it is too early to tell what caused the explosion but reported they are working closely with fire officials to conduct a thorough investigation.

(Photo: WSB-TV)

(Photo: WSB-TV)

Fire officials said it is not a hazmat situation. One investigator said most of the damage to the plant area was cosmetic. Channel 2’s Liz Artz spoke to witnesses, who said the explosion sounded like gunfire.

“I just heard a big, old blast. It sounded like something was shooting. That’s what it sounded like, like someone was shooting like 50,000 times,” said witness Erica Moss.

Paramedics at the scene told Artz that they are focused on secondary heat exposure. Temple Avenue was closed just west of Newnan Crossing Bypass/Hwy 34/Hwy. 16 due to the investigation.

Many people tweeted and posted on Facebook that they felt the blast from nearly a mile away from the plant. One person said the front door of their business was blown open from about two blocks away from the plant.

Ashley Phillps has been an employee at Bonnell Aluminum Plant for five years. She says the job can be hazardous, she and co-worker Anisha Britt talked to Channel 2 Action News about the dangerous combination of hot metal and water.

Phillips and Britt said while the company provides extensive safety training, it’s not an easy place to work.

The plant reopened this morning, but the casting area where the explosion occurred will remain closed until the investigation is complete.

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