• Officials: Man dies after pipe explodes at industrial plant


    SHELBY, N.C. - Police have told Channel 9 that one person has been killed in an industrial accident on Plato Lee Road in west Shelby.

    First responders said that a contract worker died when an 8-inch pipe exploded Friday morning at the KSM Castings plant.

    The victim worked for the United Mechanical Corporation for 13 years.

    His name has not been released.

    Officials said the man was installing heating and air conditioning units in the plant that is under construction.

    Authorities would not let Channel 9 get close to the plant as a company safety team and police worked around the building.

    Investigators could be seen from Chopper 9. They said the veteran employee was hit in the head by the explosion.

    A safety team for KSM Castings was called to the site Friday morning.

    Last year the company announced its plan to bring 200 jobs to Shelby.

    The company makes light metal castings for car parts.

    About three months ago, the Charlotte-based United Mechanical started work building the heating and air conditioning units at the plant.

    Channel 9 looked into its last three inspections with the state.

    In April the state found no violations.  In March 2011, they found one violation, which was an improper covering over a hole.

    In 2010 the state said the company did not properly use a portable ladder.  Both violations were considered serious.

    Channel 9 is waiting to hear if safety violations had anything to do with the accident Friday.

    Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon spoke with the man listed as the spokesman for the owners of the company. He said he is trying to learn more about what happened.

    He will then take his findings to the owners.

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