According to a report by The Detroit News, authorities were contacted around 9 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) in response to a large explosion. Reports indicate that upon arrival emergency services found “a small fire” stemming from an explosion as well as two people injured. A General Motors spokesman has placed the number of injured people at one, while The Detroit Free Press has indicated that one of the victims has life-threatening injuries.
The Tech Center near the company’s Detroit headquarters suffering the explosion is where GM conducts testing on battery technology for the Chevy Volt and other hybrid vehicles. Indeed, David Frederick, the city’s fire chief, confirmed in a telephone interview with Bloomberg that an “incident” occurred early in the morning at in a laboratory conducting “extreme testing on a prototype battery.”
GM spokesman Greg Martin told the Detroit News that all employees have been accounted for and that the company is “trying to learn more details.”
GM has issued a statement to local ABC affiliate, WXYZ:
“We are aware of an incident this morning in one of the laboratories at the Alternative Energy Center at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Mich. Fire and emergency authorities were called to the scene. The building was evacuated. All employees have been accounted for. We are aware five employees being evacuated on scene by medical personal and only one employee is being further treated.
The incident is still under investigation by GM and the Warren authorities. Any information or discussion of the nature of the work in the lab or cause of the incident is entirely speculative and cannot be confirmed at this time.”
GM was eager to point out that the incident was unrelated to the Chevrolet Volt or any other production vehicle.
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