Explosion and Fire Fought at Ill. Brass Plant

Two workers at Olin Brass were injured in the blast.

May 27--EAST ALTON -- An explosion at the Olin Brass plant near Route 3 Tuesday afternoon caused injuries to two workers inside the DC Casting Unit No. 5.

An injured worker with a bandage on his arm was transported via ARCH helicopter to St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis and another worker was also transported to Alton Memorial for injuries, according to information provided by eye witnesses and Olin Brass Spokesperson Ann Pipkin.

First responders from Alton, Rosewood Heights, Wood River, East Alton, and Olin Brass's own fire department responded to the scene. Firefighters worked what was likely a fire in connection with the explosion at the Olin Brass casting plant.

Black smoke rose from the roof of the plant and there were scanner traffic reports of smoldering graphite within the plant.

Traffic on Route 3 was halted for about 30 minutes to make room for the landing ARCH helicopter.

A witness within one mile of the plant said smoke was visible rising from the roof, but dissipated after two minutes.

The plant is located in the 300 block of Lewis and Clark Blvd., near Route 3 in East Alton.

The Telegraph will update this story when more information becomes available.

Brett Luster can be reached at 618-208-6447 and on Twitter @bdluster.

Copyright 2014 - The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.