Three injured in Gridley factory blast
An oven explosion at an organic cracker and cookie factory in Gridley on Thursday night sent one man to the hospital and injured two others.
Names of the injured at the Mary's Gone Crackers factory were not released.
"I can't make any statements at this time. I don't have enough information to release anything," said Medy Beauchane, a company attorney.
Firefighters responded around 7:05 p.m. to a report of a structure fire at the factory in the 100 block of Kentucky Street, which later proved unfounded.
"It appears an explosion occurred in an oven while a service technician was working underneath it," said Butte County CalFire Capt. Garrett Needles.
The worker suffered moderate burns to his face, neck and arms and was flown to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Needles said.
Two other workers also suffered unspecified minor injuries. One was taken to Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital and the other declined medical treatment at the scene.
It was not clear what caused the explosion.
At least one portion of the factory was evacuated, but employees returned to work around 7:55 p.m.
Beauchane said he would speak with corporate officials to determine if any public statement would be made, including releasing the names of the injured employees.
Founded in 2006 by Dale Rodrigues and Mary Walder, the organic and vegan snack company came under legal scrutiny earlier this year from the US Justice Department.
In January, federal agents said they suspected the company of hiring, then concealing, dozens of illegal workers.
It was not clear if the injured workers were connected to the ongoing Justice Department investigation.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.