An explosion and subsequent fire at a La Habra metal polishing company left eleven people injured, two critically, on Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Register.
The number of injuries could grow, as authorities continue to investigate the explosion, said Greg Siggins of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Firefighters responded to the blast shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, seeing flames in the building. Reportedly, they contained the fire in about a half hour, and the eleven injured people were quickly taken to area hospitals.
Fire inspector Scott Miller told the Register that lint and dust in the building’s duct system might have caused the blast, according to a preliminary investigation.
“This felt like a bomb going off. It was one, big, loud explosion and a steam sound after that,” said Mike Bremer, an employee at neighboring business VIP Rubber Co., who was in his office at the time of the explosion. “It made my heart jump up into my throat,” he added.
David Lopez, an employee at the company, said he and his team were polishing wheel rims at the time of the blast, but he wasn’t sure what caused it. He said he saw several of his co-workers’ bodies covered in flames.