Explosion Reported at Beechcraft Plant in Kansas, Authorities Responding

December 27, 2019 Updated: December 27, 2019
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An explosion was reported Friday at the Beechcraft manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, according to reports.

The explosion took place at Beechcraft’s Plant 3, a spokesperson for Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell told CNN on Friday morning. The spokesperson said that officials believe the “injuries will be minimal” as the plant was shut down for the holidays.

It’s not clear the extent of the damage or casualties, Longwell said.

KAKE-TV reported that at least one person suffered serious injuries in the blast. The Associated Press reported that part of a building collapsed due to the blast, while adding that about 12 people were hurt.

AP reported that a nitrogen tank caused the explosion.

Several locals in eastern Wichita said they felt and heard the explosion, KSN reported.

The explosion was reported at around 8 a.m. local time, the Wichita Eagle reported.

Officials are blocking traffic in the area, reports also said.

Beechcraft is a Textron Aviation-owned company. It manufactures light single-engined aircraft to twin-engined turboprop transports, business jets, as well as military trainers.

The explosion comes amid troubles for the aircraft industry in Wichita, a major sector of the Kansas economy. Boeing has announced that it will suspend production of its troubled 737 Max jetliner in January, forcing the state to consider helping to pay workers at Spirit AeroSystems, which produces the jet’s fuselages. And earlier this month, Beechcraft parent Textron Aviation announced it would lay off an unspecified number of workers, most of them in Wichita.

Other details about the explosion are not clear.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.