Saturday, 2:15 PM
(David Kamerman/Globe Staff)
By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff
BRAINTREE -- Six people suffered minor injuries today in a thunderous explosion at a foundry near Interstate 93 when molten metal spilled into cold water, according to police and fire officials.
The blast at 11:40 a.m. cracked windows and caused a blanket of dust to fall on the 75 employees inside Wollaston Alloys Inc. on Wood Road, which is on the other side of the interstate from South Shore Plaza. Employee John Goncalves described a bright flash followed by darkness.
"You couldn't see. You were trying to breathe, but you couldn't breathe," Goncalves said. "I'm just glad everybody got out safely."
The employees quickly filed out of the brown factory building, following evacuation protocols that they said were practiced every few months. Four people were hospitalized with minor breathing problems, one suffered a back injury, and another complained of chest pain, according to Deputy Chief Russell Jenkins of the Braintree Police Department.
Wollaston Alloys manufactures pumps and other components for industrial machines.The blast occurred in the foundry's furnace when molten metal splashed into a water holding tank, according to Deputy Fire Chief Fred Thompson. The small fire that accompanied the explosion was quickly extinguished, Thompson said.
Another employee, Gary Fortin, 67, said it was similar to a smaller blast a decade ago.
"I've been working here for 36 years and I felt those things before," Fortin said. "But not like this."
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