Ford Fire Kills Six Workers

The July 5 explosion that injured 21 workers at a Louisiana alumina refinery was caused by a power distribution interruption, the company said Aug. 13.

Feb. 1 was the worst day of Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr.'s life.

One month into his tenure as chairman of the company his great-grandfather founded, Ford looked on as flames and smoke engulfed one of the huge buildings at Ford Motor Co.'s River Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Mich. He watched as injured workers were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

Saying he felt that the employees were like members of his family, Ford admitted his heart sank when he saw the flames and added, "This is a huge tragedy."

The explosion and fire at the facility killed six workers and injured more than 14 others. The explosion occured at the power house, which provides electricity for the complex. The building was built in 1921, and generates enough electricity to power a large city.

Hourly workers were sent home following the blast and second shift workers were told not to report to work. About 4,000 workers were at the 1,1000 acre complex when the explosion occured. Some 10,000 workers are employed at River Rouge, where Ford builds the Mustang.

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