Update: Plant Explosion in Blacksburg Injures Four - WSET.com - ABC13

Update: Plant Explosion in Blacksburg Injures Four

iWitness photos courtesy of Amanda Snediker iWitness photos courtesy of Amanda Snediker

Blacksburg,VA - A spokesperson with the Blacksburg Police Department says two of four people injured in the plant explosion are being treated at a hospital in North Carolina.

45-year-old Jeffery Hodges of Botetourt and 53-year-old Tommy Bonds of Narrows are both listed in serious condition at this time.

The other two injured 63-year-old Danny Collins of Pearisburg, and 38-year-old John Spangler of Roanoke were treated and released from the hospital.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the explosion.


Update: 6:20 p.m.

Blacksburg, VA - Two people were in a hospital burn center Friday after a factory explosion in Blacksburg in the morning. The blast at Federal-Mogul happened while workers with a contracted company were cleaning the ducts.

A total of four people with the company LCM were injured - the other two were treated and released. We talked to one employee who couldn't be more thankful he had the day off.

Darrien Simpkins has worked at Federal-Mogul for 27 years, but so happy he wasn't there Friday. Where he works now has a gaping hole in its side.

"I'd probably be hurt right now. Like I said, I work 30 feet from that explosion," said Simpkins.

Amanda Snediker doesn't work at the factory. She was off work today and cleaning her home, uncomfortably close to the blast.

"I was upstairs. My husband was downstairs, and the entire house shook," said Snediker.

Her first guess was that the roof caved in from the snow. She's felt this sort of shake before.

"The shake was similar to the earthquake we felt about 10 years ago," said Snediker.

She says workers responded quickly.

"There were lots of people out in the yard who had been evacuated and a million emergency crews," said Snediker.

Simpkins says his brother was working at Federal-Mogul and very close to the explosion.

"He said it shook him up pretty bad. He said it looked like a war zone to him - the way peoples was bleeding and burned up," said Simpkins.

Simpkins says his brother's OK and resting at home. But now he worries about his co-workers.

"I was wondering about Daryl and them right now. He works the same machine I work. About 30 feet away from that blast. I say he's probably got some shrapnel on him," said Simpkins.

The four injured were LCM employees. Officials have not put out the cause of the explosion. The plant has shut down for the time being.


Blacksburg, VA - A spokesman for an auto parts supplier says four people have been injured in an explosion at the company's plant in Blacksburg.

Jim Burke, spokesman for Federal-Mogul Corp. in Southfield, Mich., said the injured were employees of a local contractor that was conducting routine duct work cleaning. He said there was no word on the cause of the explosion, which occurred shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday.

There was a small fire after the explosion but that has been put out.

Eric Earnhart, a spokesman for Roanoke Carilion Hospital, said two critically injured patients were flown to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. George Ward, lead security officer at Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital, said two patients were treated there for relatively minor injuries.

The Blacksburg plant is one of 107 facilities operated by Federal-Mogul worldwide. It specializes in bearings.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.