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Worker Seriously Injured At Dana Plant

Maintenance worker listed in critical condition after a boiler burst at Tennessee rubber extrusion plant; explosion blew a 30-foot hole in the building's side.

PARIS, Tenn. (AP) - One person was seriously injured Monday after a boiler burst at a rubber plant.
 
Leslie Evans, a maintenance worker, was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where he was listed in critical condition after the accident at the rubber extrusion plant owned by Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.
 
The explosion blew a 30-foot hole in the building's side and caused damage to the roof and buildings in a parking lot.
 
Dwayne Matthews, vice president of Dana's sealing products division, said the cause is being investigated.
 
''First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with (Evans),'' Matthews said.
 
The rubber plant, which employs about 115 people, is part of a four-plant compound outside Paris and about 125 miles northeast of Memphis.
 
Matthews said the plant will remain closed until investigators determine the cause of the accident and are able to activate a backup boiler. He said operations were unaffected at the other Paris plants.
 
The boilers power vulcanizers to cure rubber used in vehicle hoses.
 
Dana is one of the world's largest auto parts makers. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2006 amid declining demand for trucks and sport utility vehicles.
 
The company received approval in April from a federal bankruptcy judge to sell off its hose and tubing businesses, including the Paris plants, to a Turkish company for $70 million. It was not clear when the deal was supposed to be final.
 
The company also operates a gasket and air duct plant in McKenzie.
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