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Explosion reported at Beechcraft aircraft facility in Wichita

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 16:20:11-05

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say at least 15 people were injured when a nitrogen tank exploded at the Beechcraft aircraft manufacturing facility in Wichita, causing part of a building to collapse.

Chief James Fromme, of the Wichita Fire Department, said the explosion happened around 8 a.m. Friday at the facility in the eastern part of the city.

Local NBC affiliate KSN said several people contacted the station saying they'd felt and heard the explosion.

Pictures show water spouting into the air from where the building appeared to have collapsed. More pictures show debris from the explosion had landed on nearby cars, damaging some.

A 4-inch natural gas line also was severed. He said he had no details on the severity of the injuries.

The cause of the blast is under investigation. Beechcraft's parent company, Textron, didn't immediately return phone or email messages from The Associated Press.

Roads in the area closed while authorities worked the scene.