Explosion at Beechcraft plant in Wichita injures at least a dozen, officials say

Nearly a dozen people were injured Friday morning when a nitrogen tank exploded at a Beechcraft aviation manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas, authorities said.

Part of a building collapsed after the explosion, The Wichita Eagle reported. Stephanie Harder, a spokeswoman for Beechcraft, told the newspaper the explosion occurred in Plant 3, where aircraft fabrication and composite manufacturing operations are housed.

Fire officials were called to the plant just after 8 a.m., KAKE-TV reported. At least one person suffered serious injuries, according to a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor.

Chief James Fromme, of the Wichita Fire Department, said a 4-inch natural gas line was severed, the Eagle reported.

A spokesman for Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell told CNN it was too early to know the extent of the damage at the facility. The spokesman said the plant was closed for the holidays, adding officials hoped "injuries will be minimal."

Police have blocked off the area around the plant, and an investigation is ongoing, KNSW reported.

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