Last week, an explosion at UTC Aerospace Systems injured two employees in Foley, Alabama. One of the two injured was lifeflighted to USA Burn Center. According to City Administrator Mike Thompson, an employee was welding on a drum, or using a torch near a drum, that still contained vapors. “Apparently, he didn’t properly vacate the vapors of the drum and the drum exploded,” Thompson said.

While hundreds of employees were evacuated from the six-building UTC facility, the explosion was contained to one are of the plant. According to Fire Chief Joey Darby, there was no fire when crews arrived on scene. He also credits UTC’s emergency response and notification plan for reacting immediately to the incident. “The employees acted quickly to mitigate the situation. UTC is back to full operation,” Darby said.

According to their website, UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of technically advanced aerospace and defense products. The Foley facility handles everything from engine rebuilds to metal fabrications, in addition to working with explosive gasses and hazardous materials. Fire officials were relieved that last week’s incident was isolated to a part of the facility that was located away from any hazardous chemicals.