Cement Plant Explosion

A cement plant explosion in the middle of the night sends employees to the hospital with severe burns.

Around midnight, fire and rescue units were called to a fire and explosion at the Suwannee American Cement Plant in Branford.

Two employees were injured, one suffering third degree burns over 40 percent of his body.

Suwannee County emergency crews say both employees were taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Johnny Wooley, Suwannee County EMS Director, said, "It was a coal dust explosion in a storage bin where coal is stored. The fire was subsequently put out; it took about an hour to bring the fire under control and get it cleaned up. No hazardous materials were involved."

The Suwannee County sheriff's report says one of the employees reported that they had been having problems with the coal furnace.

The incident is still being investigated.