Explosion in Leetsdale Industrial Park injures 4 workers

Monday, September 9, 2019 | 4:46 PM

An explosion over the weekend at the Hussey Copper headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Leetsdale Industrial Park sent four people to the hospital with injuries.

The incident happened at about 5 a.m. Saturday, said Ernest Logan, assistant fire chief at the Leetsdale Fire Department. Logan said fire, police and emergency medical services staff were not called to the scene, and that he learned about the event from Leetsdale police two hours after it occurred.

Leetsdale Police Chief Daniel Raible was not available for comment. A representative from Hussey Copper said the organization has no comment on the incident.

The four workers injured in the explosion were transported to the hospital in private vehicles. Three were treated at Sewickley Valley hospital, and one had been released as of 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Another worker was transferred to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, Logan said.

The extent of the injuries is not known.

Logan said that Hussey Copper staff who were present during the incident said spilled molten copper came into contact with water on the floor, causing the explosion. Logan did not have exact details on what caused the spill, but said that no fire resulted from the explosion.

The Allegheny County Fire Marshal and OSHA are investigating, said Logan.

Allegheny County Chief Fire Marshal Matthew Brown did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

“There’s a fairly decent history of events occurring down there,” said Logan, citing a previous explosion in May, which he said was similar to this latest incident.

News reports at the time indicated that four workers also suffered injuries in the May explosion.

Leetsdale Mayor Peter Poninsky said borough officials plan to set up a meeting with Hussey Copper management to discuss the incident but could not provide further details.