Huge explosion at Statesville materials plant felt 6 miles away - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Huge explosion at Statesville materials plant felt six miles away

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STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

Neighbors are stunned as a huge explosion in Statesville rattles homes and shatters windows up to four miles away late Tuesday night.

At the epicenter of the problem, the 3-A Composite plant near I-40 just outside of downtown.  The blast so intense, the pressure blew a hole through the side of the building, and the adjoining wall was pushed out several feet.

Firefighters first got a fire alarm call just before midnight, but say while they were en route, started receiving several calls from neighbors of the explosion.

By the time they arrived, the flames were extinguished.  The buildings sprinkler system was activated automatically, and did what it was designed to do.

Crews tell us the culprit in all of this, was a piece of machinery called saturator.  It mixes gasses used in the process of making products.

Officials said three employees were standing right next to the saturator when it blew, and are amazed no one was killed.

One of the employees was slightly injured, but refused treatment by Medics on the scene.

Other employees were allowed to go home, because the building suffered significant damage.

According to firefighters, it could take up to nine months to repair, or replace the portion of the plant that was affected.  It's estimated the blast caused three million dollars in damage.

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