UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — At least 15 people were injured on Friday after a liquid nitrogen line exploded at a Textron Aviation factory near Wichita, Kansas, apparently causing a setback for the launch of a new plane under development, according to area and company officials.
John Gallagher, director of emergency medical services for Sedgwick County, told a news conference that medical devices had brought 11 people to hospital, one of whom may have serious injuries.
Company officials said two of the victims were taken to hospital in private cars, while two were treated at the scene.
Daniel Wegner, deputy commander of the Fire Department in Sedgwick County, said the injuries were limited because at that time only the primary number of workers was due to holidays.
Wegner added that the explosion in the liquid nitrogen line also damaged a storage tank, which led to the leakage of nitrogen gas from the building.
A news footage from the scene showed what appeared to be a cloud of steam rising from the damaged building. Wegner said that this gas is harmless.
A Tuxtron spokeswoman said damage had been contained to Plant No. 3, which is being built for test aircraft, including Sky Courier, which is a light aircraft that is used for public purposes.
The Sky Courier had been slated to enter service in 2020, Textron said before. The spokeswoman said it was too early to determine the damage to the prototype of the aircraft being produced.
Textron Aviation is a Textron unit that manufactures Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft.
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