August 30, 2014

Elyria
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Man hurt in office blast

ELYRIA — A 50-year-old Diamond Products employee was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center following an explosion in his office at about 8:45 a.m. Friday.

The man, who lives in LaGrange, was treated for facial burns, according to a statement from Roy Varga, Diamond Products human resources director.

“No other employees were injured, and the damage was limited to one office on our shop floor, the office where the injured employee worked,” Varga wrote.

The employee was mixing chemicals to build exploding targets for firearm target practice, according to a statement by Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub.

Varga said the company, which makes diamond-tipped tools and other equipment, does not work on anything explosive and such an incident had never happened before. He added later Friday afternoon that he had spoken to the employee and he was expected to be released from the hospital.

The Elyria Police Department, Fire Department and Lorain County Bomb Squad responded to the explosion. Agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were there as well, providing technical assistance.

Police and the company are not releasing the man’s name, and criminal charges are possible.

The bomb squad sent in a robot and removed evidence.

One of four Diamond Products buildings, at 333 Prospect Ave., was evacuated as a precautionary measure for about three hours while law enforcement examined the scene. An adjacent LabCorp building, at 418 E. Broad St., was evacuated as well.

Police seized the employee’s 2007 Ford pickup and it was searched as well, and the investigation into the incident is continuing, Eichenlaub wrote.

Police also searched the man’s home on Whitney Road on Friday night, he said.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or kfischer@chroniclet.com.