More than 50 firefighters and medical personnel responded Tuesday morning to an explosion at a chrome polishing plant in La Habra, California, that left 11 injured.
KTLA Los Angeles reported
that of those injured, three were in critical condition, according to Fire Department spokesman Keith Mora. They had burns across 90 percent of their bodies. Other workers emerged from the building covered in dust and soot.
Firefighters were able to contain the resulting blaze shortly after arriving at Gorilla Polishing Corp., located in the 500 block of Commercial Way.
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"It just sounded like a big explosion," owner Mike Dougherty told The Los Angeles Times
, initially thinking they were experiencing an earthquake. "Our second thought was that was a sonic boom, kind of like a concussion."
Fire Department Inspector Scott Miller said that his initial thoughts are that the explosion was not chemical-related, but likely occurred due to an accumulation of dust and lint in a duct system.
Gorilla Polishing Corp. was cited with seven violations in 2011 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health that it settled in early 2013 for $1,975. Citations included failing to monitor for airborne contaminants, to establish an injury and illness prevention program and to provide information to employees about hazardous substances.
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