Two people were injured Thursday morning after an explosion and fire at Selmet at 33992 Seven Mile Lane southeast of Albany.
Albany Fire Department spokeswoman Sandy Roberts said the two, both employees at Selmet, were taken by ambulance to Albany General Hospital. One of the employees was flown by Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and listed in critical condition. The two employees were not identified.
Roberts said the fire at the specialty metals industrial plant was reported at 7:53 a.m.
More than 30 firefighter/paramedics from Tangent and Albany fire departments responded.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office monitored traffic flow in and out of the plant. Seven Mile Lane remained open during the response to the explosion.
About 90 minutes after the initial call, Roberts said that there were “no leaks, no chemical hazards and the fires are out. There is no danger to the public.”
Bend resident Samuel Anderton, a sophomore at Boise State and a summer engineering intern, told the Democrat-Herald that he was on the east side of the campus when he heard the explosion, which occurred on the west side of the plant.
“It rattled my ribs and shook the ground,” he said. “I was on the outside of the building walking back to my desk. I heard the explosion, saw a plume of smoke and saw folks running out of the building.”
He said the explosion came from a furnace area, where titanium was being melted.
Employees were sent home, Anderton said.
Selmet manufactures special metals items used in the aerospace industry. It employs about 870 people — adding 500 since 2012 — and has undergone expansion projects costing millions of dollars.
Founded locally, the company was sold in 2011 to Blue Point Capital and in 2018 to Consolidated Precision Products of Cleveland, Ohio.
“The safety and well-being of our employees is our top priority,” Richard Legenza of Consolidated Precision Products said in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and support are with the employees and their families who have been injured and affected. We will be working closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding this accident.”
Investigators from Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Tangent Rural Fire and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office were working with Selmet to determine the cause and origin of the explosion.