Explosion at UTC injures four.
PANTON ROAD - An explosion rocked the UTC Aerospace Systems building shortly before noon. The explosion was forceful enough to shake nearby houses.
Jim Weening, owner of Classic Stitching on Main Street, reported that the explosion was not audible from Downtown. Weening related, "I heard a police car speed by, then all the firetrucks, and I knew something it was something big."
Officials believe the explosion was caused by a dust collector outside the building. Four were injured and taken to the hospital for injuries that were reported as "not life-threatening." Shortly after 1 p.m., Deputy Fire Chief Matt Fraley, who also works at the plant, told reporters his team was waiting for smoke to clear so that an investigation could begin.
By 3 PM, the situation was largely contained. Firemen from Vergennes and Charlotte maintained a cordon outside as fire officials inspected the scene.
In a statement, UTC Aerospace spokesman Alexander Killeffer said, "We’re working with emergency responders to continue to assess the situation at our Vergennes facility. At this time we can confirm there was an explosion. All employees were evacuated. Three employees have been transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and are currently receiving medical treatment. Our thoughts are with those affected and we are working with emergency responders to ensure that they receive the appropriate care and relief. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we learn more."
UPDATE: 10:11 PM
Per UTC: As an update to our earlier statements, we can now confirm that four employees went to the hospital, three have been released, and one remains in the hospital and is continuing to receive medical treatment.