Underground nitrogen line failure caused explosion, crater at Boeing campus

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials at Boeing South Carolina still trying to determine why an underground nitrogen line failed that led to an explosion and formed a crater at its main North Charleston campus.

The explosion happened at approximately 6:30 a.m. between two production buildings at the plant Thursday morning. Boeing's own fire and security teams responded.

No injuries or health risks were reported in the incident according to Boeing South Carolina spokesperson Rob Gross. Officials say production has not been affected.

Nitrogen is an important part of the plane manufacturing process. It is used to make the fuselage for the planes.

"Because safety is always our top priority, we are conducting a full investigation, and we will provide more information as it is available," Gross said in a statement.

Charleston County EMS was not called to the scene, but a crew from South Carolina Electric & Gas responded to make sure none of SCE&G's facilities were damaged by the rupture.

No damage was detected to SCE&G equipment, according to utility spokesperson Kim Asbill.

No outside agencies were called to investigate the incident. An OSHA spokesman said they respond only if there is a fatality or if three or more people are injured and taken to a hospital.

OSHA has been to the Boeing campus twice in the last five years.

In 2013, a worker here died after falling off a platform.

After an investigation OSHA ruled Boeing was not at fault and no citations were issued.

In 2011, OSHA made a routine inspection of the Boeing plant and found that everything was up to par.

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