GM explosion: Investigation underway, chemicals may not be the cause


MARION, Indiana (WANE) - Employees of the Marion General Motors plant punched in at their regular time Wednesday after Tuesday’s fatal explosion.  People in Marion tell NewsChannel 15 Wednesday was far from a normal day at the GM plant.  A quiet, sad day as employees cope with the loss of James Gibson, a contractor for the company.

Officials at the plant are still trying to figure out how the explosion happened.

“Obviously you have day-to-day injuries and stuff but nothing of this magnitude since the early 90s. And we’re certainly hoping that there never is again,” GM Communications Manager Stephanie Jentgen said.

A family grieving and the GM community in Marion hurting in light of the loss of 48-year-old James Gibson.  A contractor for a chemical company called Quaker Chemical Corporation based out of Pennsylvania.  With a local office on the Marion GM campus.

Initially after the explosion Tuesday, GM officials told us chlorine dioxide was to blame.  Wednesday morning, Stephanie Jentgen the communications manager for the company says they don’t know if that actually caused the blast.

Gibson was the only worker in the area at the time.

Where the explosion happened officials say does not disrupt production.  So, that’s why everyone was able to go back to work Wednesday.  Jentgen says they have grief counselors at the plant Wednesday for anyone who may need support.

Across from GM are several businesses.  An employee of one of those businesses who wanted to remain anonymous says workers have told her it’s a quiet, sad day at GM.  Many of them are surprised the plant’s back open.  They thought they’d have some time off to cope with things.

GM officials tell NewsChannel 15 they’ve launched a full investigation.  They hope to find the cause soon.  In the meantime the Gibson family is asking for privacy as they grieve.

 

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