Malfunction at Indianapolis aluminum facility starts fire; employees evacuated

INDIANAPOLIS - No one was hurt early Tuesday when a malfunction sparked an explosion and fireball that shot up over a northeast-side aluminum facility, officials confirmed.

Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) officials said just before 2 a.m., crews headed to the 4900 block of Aluminum Drive to respond to a fire at Mid America Extrusions.

IFD said aluminum ingots (see below for more details on ingots) were being heated in a large, oven-like machine when something malfunctioned and caused a small explosion. The explosion, in turn, was sucked upward through a vent to the roof (roughly 25 feet high) creating a fireball.

The plant was evacuated of its overnight workforce and IFD crews were able to extinguish the fire. 

An ingot is usually made of metal and is used as a basis for casting into different shapes for larger processes. They sometimes require extreme temperatures to be produced into a final product.

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