A contract employee with the Marion General Motors Plant was killed Tuesday afternoon in a chemical explosion. Five other workers at the plant were injured.
The accident happened just before 2 pm when 48-year old James Gibson of Marion was working with a tank of Chlorine Dioxide when the tank exploded. Gibson was taken to Marion General Hospital where he died shortly after arriving.
Marion Fire Investigators say the tank continued leaking after the explosion and five other workers were contaminated by the chemicals. They were all take to Marion General Hospital with non-life threatening chemical reactions.
G-M Spokesperson Stephanie Jentgen said an internal investigation will take place along with an investigation by police and firefighters.
All workers were evacuated from the plant until fire and safety officials were sure the plant was safe. Production was shut down until this morning. Investigators from G-M are expected to begin their own investigation immediately.
An autopsy is scheduled later today to determine the exact cause of Gibson’s death, which is believed to be the first fatal accident at the plant in more than 20-years.
G-M is Grant County’s largest employer with nearly 16-hundred employees.