Malfunction at Indianapolis aluminum facility starts fire; employees evacuated
4:02 AM, Aug 19, 2014
12:55 PM, Aug 19, 2014
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.