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GM plant resumes output after blast

Keywords: Tags  General Motors, Marion Metal Center, Fort Wayne Assembly, explosion, worker death, Quaker Chemical, Michael Barry, Michael Cowden


CHICAGO — Production has resumed at General Motors Co.’s stamping plant in Marion, Ind., after an explosion July 1 killed one worker and injured several others.

The explosion forced the Detroit-based automaker to cancel the third shift at the Marion Metal Center, although the facility had resumed operations by July 2, a company spokeswoman told AMM.

The "production impact on our customers is minimal," she said.

The explosion happened the afternoon of July 1 and killed one contract employee, the spokeswoman said, adding that four workers were sent to the emergency room at Marion General Hospital for observation but were later released. Several other workers declined treatment or were examined by medical personnel on site at the stamping plant.

An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the explosion, which remained unknown as of July 2, the spokeswoman said.

The worker who was killed was employed by Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quaker Chemical Corp., the company said. "We will work with GM and government agencies to understand what occurred," Quaker chairman, chief executive officer and president Michael F. Barry said in a statement July 1.

The Marion plant is a three-shift operation. In 2013, it shipped more than 193,000 tons of steel blanks, stampings and subassemblies to GM assembly plants throughout North America, the spokeswoman said.

The blanks, stampings and sheet metal assemblies from the plant, which employs more than 1,400 people, are used for cars, vans, trucks and sports utility vehicles and are sent to company assembly plants throughout North America, according to GM’s website.

The Marion plant provides about 70 percent of the exterior sheet metal to GM’s Fort Wayne, Ind., assembly plant, the spokeswoman said.

"They’re running. They haven’t had to cancel production," she said of the Fort Wayne plant, which is about 40 miles north of Marion.

GM’s Fort Wayne plant makes full-sized pickup trucks, according to GM’s website.

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