Explosion at foundry injures truck driver, three employees

TACOMA, WA (AP) -- An explosion heard miles away sent a ball of fire over a historic foundry in Tacoma, Washington, on Saturday afternoon.

The News Tribune of Tacoma says four people were hospitalized after two propane tanks exploded around 3 p.m. Pacific time at the Atlas Foundry. One of the injured was the driver of a propane truck.   A hospital spokeswoman says the truck driver is in critical condition. The other three men, foundry employees, are in stable condition.

The explosion shut down a major highway and cut power to the city's industrial area. Firefighters say they had the blaze under control by Saturday evening.

The foundry traces its history to 1899 when the company made iron castings for the logging industry. It now supplies industries from shipbuilding to offshore oil drilling.

Posted by NCD

The Associated Press conrtibuted to this report.