Processing Magazine

One employee dead, several hurt in Mississippi plant explosion

July 30, 2009
One person was killed and others injured in an explosion at a copper tubing plant in northeast Mississippi, emergency officials said, reported by the Associated Press. Itawamba County Coroner Steven McNeece says Phillip Cason Hosch, 29, of Sulligent, Ala., died in the blast that happened at Mueller Copper Tube in Fulton. McNeece did not have other details. An official with Mueller Industries said the company is still assessing the damage. Authorities were unsure how the explosion happened. The plant was evacuated after the blast and the fire extinguished about an hour later. Officials said a Hazmat team decontaminated people who had chemicals on them. McNeece said an autopsy on Hosch was planned. Memphis, Tenn.-based Mueller Industries makes copper tube and fittings, among other products. The company also has plants in Arkansas, Tennessee, California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mueller is also located in Canada, Mexico and Great Britain. The company has four plants — Mueller Copper Tube, Mueller Casting, Mueller Copper Fittings and Mueller Custom Pack — on the same road in Fulton. Mueller Copper Tube is the oldest and largest of four plants in the complex. The company''s Fulton operation opened in 1969 and employs 300 to 400 employees.