Three people were hurt Thursday afternoon as a result of an explosion at 3M’s Hutchinson manufacturing site.
Emergency crews who communicated on the radio shortly after 1:30 p.m. reported no fire, and no situation involving hazardous materials.
Hutchinson Police Chief Dan Hatten said he was not aware of any chemical risk, and that responders were cleared to work with the injured upon arrival.
Three people were hurt — two with minor injuries, one with serious injuries. One person was taken to Hutchinson Health by ambulance. That person was seen at the hospital’s emergency room, and then flown to Hennepin County Medical Center. Fanna Haile-Selassie, a spokesperson for 3M, said the wounds were not life threatening.
She said the incident was caused by a piece of equipment that experienced a “process upset” during a cooling operation.
Hatten said he was aware of no structural damage at 3M’s facility.
“What it is and what the cause is — it’s way too early to determine,” he said.
Police diverted traffic on Fifth Avenue away from 3M. Employees attempting to head to work parked on nearby streets as they waited for crews to finish. At around 2:10 p.m., traffic was allowed to resume unimpeded, and vehicles began to drive onto the property.
“Safety and security of our employees is our top priority,” Haile-Selassie said. “A small area of the plant has been shut down pending an internal investigation.”