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Two people remain in the hospital after Friday’s explosion at a Beechcraft plant in Wichita, Kansas.

A spokesperson for Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital told a reporter for Wichita’s KWCH-TV News that one person remains in the hospital in serious condition. A spokesperson for Wesley Medical Center also said there is one patient in serious condition. No other information was released on the two victims.

Fifteen people were injured when a nitrogen gas line ruptured at the Beechcraft aviation manufacturing plant. The other 13 people have all been treated and released and are recovering at home.

Beechcraft plant explosion:
What happened Friday

The explosion occurred when a 3-inch nitrogen gas line ruptured at Beechcraft’s Plant 3 shortly after 8 a.m. local time, a Beechcraft spokesperson said.

According to Sedgwick County fire deputy chief Daniel Wegner, the injuries could have been much greater, if not for the timing of the explosion. “One of the benefits is the plant was closed or shut down for the holiday season,” Wegner said, “so the numbers that would have been here were not.”

Said one employee: “I cannot describe how bad that was and what was going through my head. I know I needed to get in there to help people, but I couldn’t because I did not know if there was going to be more explosions or what.”

Some employees inside Plant 3 at the time of the explosion said they were disoriented after the blast.

“What felt like an earthquake,” said one who asked not to be identified. “… I saw darkness and dirt in the air. I saw everything moving around because, like I said, there was a pretty big explosion. And the walls were flexing and the wall I was standing next to, it moved four feet.”

Plant 3 contains composite manufacturing operations and experimental aircraft fabrication, said the spokesperson for Beechcraft, which is owned by Textron Aviation. The plant manufactures single- and twin-engine aircrafts.

Beechcraft plant explosion: Two employees still hospitalized

Two employees still are hospitalized in serious condition after Friday’s Beechcraft plant explosion in Wichita, Kansas. The two hospitalized victims have not been identified.

Beechcraft plant explosion:
‘Is my family OK?’

Local residents woke up to a shock Friday morning.

“I had thought maybe a tree had fallen on my roof, but unfortunately, I had started hearing sirens and thought maybe something had happened across the street at the factory,” said one neighbor.

The blast scattered debris across the area, and the explosion was felt well throughout the neighborhood located directly across the street from the plant.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh is my family OK?’, because I was right down the street from it,” Millie Stewart said.

Said James Copeland, another nearby resident: “The whole house shook, and I saw even some plates in the cabinets and stuff had moved over a little bit. So yeah, it was pretty intense for that very first part.”

Beechcraft plant explosion:
Lots of confusion at first

Other residents said the explosion caused window blinds to be knocked out of place, and the noise startled some pets. At first, some thought it could be a sonic boom, earthquake, or even a tree falling on their roof.

The shake was accompanied by a loud noise. Vietnam veteran Roger Mattingly told a KSN-TV News reporter he hadn’t heard a noise like that since he was serving in Vietnam. The noise took him by surprise.

“We’re accustomed to a lot of aircraft noise anyway but not booms like this you know. It worried us,” Mattingly said. “We knew something had happened but didn’t know what.”

Some of the residents weren’t allowed back into their homes until the scene had been cleared. Many said they knew people who work at the plant, and some said they had ties to the plant themselves.

Beechcraft plant explosion:
Plant closed indefinitely

Beechcraft officials said Plant 3 will remain closed until further notice, but operations will resume at the remaining facilities at the east Wichita site.

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