OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio — One person is dead following an explosion at an Oakwood Village manufacturing plant Monday afternoon, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office confirms.
Multiple crews from across Greater Cleveland and Akron responded to the I. Schumann & Co. metal plant on Alexander Road, near Bedford, where the blast led to a fire just after 2:15 p.m. Oakwood Fire Capt. Brian DiRocco says at least 13 others were taken to local hospitals, with several suffering burn injuries.
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The deceased victim has been identified as 46-year-old North Ridgeville native Steve Mullins, and sources tell WKYC's Lydia Esparra he was a maintenance worker at the plant.
Photos shared to 3News showed smoke billowing to the sky, with the cloud visible for miles. The blast was so great that debris landed at Northern Haserot directly across the street. The blaze is now under control, per DiRocco.
3News streamed live coverage of the fire at I Schumann & Co. Watch in the player below:
MetroHealth Medical Center tells 3News they are treating four patients (with two currently listed as critical), and University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood says seven additional people were taken to their facility.
The Ohio Department of Transportation shared this traffic video footage with 3News following a public records request. From a distance, you can see the first moments of the explosion.
Meanwhile, residents in communities like Seven Hills and Broadview Heights have also noted smells of "burning oil," with authorities say they "are likely to notice this odor for a while yet."
This is not the first time that there has been an explosion at the I Schumann & Co. plant. In April of 2006, five workers were injured when molten metal caused an explosion. None of the injuries were serious. You can see 3News video from the 2006 incident below.
I. Schumann & Co. released the following statement to WKYC Monday evening:
"An explosion of unknown origin struck our Bedford, Ohio facility today resulting in injuries to employees and significant damage to the facility. Our efforts now are focused on supporting the first responders who came on scene quickly to help our employees. The safety and health of our employees is our top priority and we commit to ensuring they receive the medical care they need. We will work alongside investigators in their search for answers as part of our commitment to Northeast Ohio where we have been operating for more than 100 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with our team members and their families at this difficult time."