News of the explosion at Zodiac Aerospace’s C&D plant in Newport, Washington, highlights the delicate nature of working with aircraft interiors components which require special materials and chemical additives to be lightweight, fireproof, and strong enough to withstand impact in the event of an aircraft crash.
Reports are that a build up of gasses from the chemicals used to treat the materials used in the composites accumulated in a treater, and built up the pressure which led a blast strong enough to do permanent damage to the building and injure five employees present at the time.
Zodiac Aerospace has issued an official statement.
“Our first thoughts go to our five colleagues who have been injured in the accident and to all the personnel and families of our employees in Newport. The local management team is in contact with the families of our injured colleagues and their families, closely monitoring their conditions. Zodiac Aerospace has set a crisis/counselling team on site, dedicated to provide support to our employees in Newport. The cause of the explosion is not known and will be investigated both internally as well as with local and government officials. Zodiac Aerospace will fully support the enquiry. The assessment of the consequences of this explosion is underway.”
The aircraft interiors sector is never an easy one, and these sad events prove that what manufacturers in this sector do is highly specialised, sensitive, and never to be taken for granted.
There will be time to review the causes and repercussions, and Flight Chic will follow the story as it evolves, but, for now, rather than speculate, I’d simply like to extend my deepest sympathies to all affected by this, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. My thoughts are with you all.
These are difficult moments, but we’ve seen difficult moments before in this industry and risen again, stronger.