An investigation is continuing on the mid-July explosion, which badly damaged the aircraft-interior manufacturer’s Newport plant.
Workers injured in a mid-July explosion at the Zodiac aerospace plant north of Spokane have been released from the hospital, and limited production at the badly damaged plant is to resume this week, the company said.
Five people were hurt July 14 in the explosion at the plant in Newport, Pend Oreille County. Two were hospitalized, one with critical injuries.
An investigation to determine the cause of the explosion continues. Zodiac said in a statement Friday it has set up an internal inquiry and is cooperating with local and federal authorities.
The plant is a composite and engineered-materials facility, employing just over 100 people. It makes structural composites and assemblies, adhesives, panels with honeycomb core, and various plastics and glass-fiber materials, all used in the manufacture of aircraft-cabin interiors.
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Zodiac said plant operations will resume in phases.
After clearing out debris and cleaning the plant, production equipment has been set up in a secured area of the facility to restart production of raw materials and adhesives this week. A press that manufactures composite panels is scheduled to restart next week.
But Zodiac said other production equipment, particularly to produce the carbon-fiber “pre-preg” material used to make composites, was more seriously damaged, and that work cannot yet be resumed on site.
In the meantime, Zodiac will start this week to supply those carbon-fiber materials from an alternate site, “producing our products and part numbers under the guidance of the Newport team,” the company said.
Zodiac operates other plants in Bellingham, Everett and Marysville that make cabin interiors for Boeing and other airplane-makers.