July 21, 2015 – Following the explosion which occurred on July 14 in the Zodiac Aerospace Advanced Composite and Engineered Materials facility in Newport, WA, USA, the Zodiac Aerospace Group has released further information:
Regarding the five injured workers: the three less injured workers were treated and released the same day at a nearby hospital. The two individuals who were more seriously injured are recovering; one of the two was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. The local management team and human resources are acting to support the victims and their families. The crisis/counselling team remains active and available to all employees of the Newport facility.
According to Zodiac, there are ongoing investigations to determine the causes of the explosion. Zodiac Aerospace has set up an internal enquiry as well as cooperating with local and federal authorities. At this time, it is established that the explosion occurred around 9pm (Pacific Standard Time) in the workshop of prepreg fabrics, used to make composite panels for cabin interiors. At the time of the explosion, 20 workers out of 104 were in the facility.
The analysis of the consequences of this explosion on Zodiac’s operations is ongoing. According to the company, while the facility is badly damaged, a team of experts clearee part of the building for inspection, and the first assessment of the facility showed that only the prepreg production line has been damaged.
The teams are currently assessing options to restart production inside the preserved parts of the plant or in another location. Alternative locations being considered include other plants with in the Zodiac Aerospace group, and those of external suppliers. According to Zodiac, current stock levels at Newport should be sufficient to fulfil its short-term commitments to other Zodiac plants.