DODGE CENTER, Minn. - At least four people are hospitalized with injuries after a reported workplace explosion not far from Rochester Wednesday.
The explosion happened Wednesday morning at McNeilus, a truck manufacturer in Dodge Center. The company builds garbage and cement mixing trucks, among with other commercial vehicles.
Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose says the explosion happened in a paint building on the McNeilus complex. It appears it occurred in a paint booth and was powerful enough that doors on both ends of the long, narrow building were damaged or blown off. Two employees were airlifted to hospitals with more serious injuries, and two more taken to hospitals by ambulance. An additional two workers were treated on scene.
Rose added that many employees who would have been in the impacted work area were at a training session, otherwise the number of injured would have certainly been higher.
"There is a full on investigation into the exact cause of the explosion, involving the State Fire Marshal's Office, the gas company and the Dodge County Sheriff's Office," Rose said.
Plant operations were shut down for the day. At this time it is uncertain when operations will resume.
Investigators from Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health will investigate the explosion.