An explosion at the General Motors Technical Center yesterday morning critically injured one worker and sent another to a local hospital.
General Motors said the incident occurred at 8:45 a.m. at the Alternative Energy Center at its sprawling research campus in Warren, Michigan. Researchers were conducting “extreme testing on a prototype battery” when the incident occurred, the company said in a statement.
A woman working in a battery research laboratory was taken to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt (Skip) McAdams said.
“She is conscious; she’s in a lot of pain. She’s a ‘Priority 2,’ which means she has life-threatening injuries,” McAdams said.
GM said in a statement that five people were “being evaluated on scene by medical personnel.” GM spokesman Greg Martin declined to call it an explosion.
GM released a statement at 11 a.m. saying the incident was “unrelated to the Chevrolet Volt or any other production vehicle.”
“It didn’t take out the entire building; whatever they were working on in this lab, something happened, causing the explosion,” McAdams said.
By 9:40 a.m., General Motors and the fire department had accounted for all workers in the building, McAdams said. The department has been monitoring the smoke in the building but did not find any indication of a hazardous material release, he said. It could be hours before employees are allowed to return to the building, he added.