South Carolina OSHA to investigate Edgefield plant explosion, injured workers identified



The South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate an explosion that injured three workers at an Edgefield plant Monday morning, officials said.

Officials confirmed Tuesday that two employees - Roy Johnson and George Shultz - remain in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, Doctors Hospital spokeswoman Lindsay Thetford said. The third injured employee, who has not been identified, was released from the hospital.

The agency will look for any OSHA violations that might have contributed to the accident at the TranTech Radiator Products at 1 Tranter Drive, said Lesia Kudelka, the communications director for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Investigations generally take about eight weeks, she said.

Trantech President Greg Horton said the facility will not reopen until it is deemed safe.

“One of our greatest fears is a situation like what occurred on Monday,” Horton said. “Ensuring the safety of those who work at Trantech is a cornerstone to the way we operate our business. We are complying with all governmental inspections. Trantech is working diligently to investigate the root cause and corrective action required. We will not reopen our Edgefield plant until we feel confident in the safety of our hard-working employees.”

The explosion was reported about 9 a.m. Monday, Edgefield County sheriff’s Cpl. Robbie Harter said.

Edgefield County EMA Director Mike Casey said the extent of the injuries appears to be less than previously thought. One employee’s body was estimated to be about 80 percent burned, which has been decreased to about 50 percent. The other employee’s burns has been downgraded to 30 percent.

A small fire resulted from the accident, which might have been caused by an exploding transformer, he said.

A TranTech employee, who identified himself only as an “HR manager,” said Tuesday that the company would not be releasing any information on the explosion.

2 injured in Edgefield industrial explosion