Four still in hospital following foundry accident

SAUKVILLE – Federal investigators are looking into an accident which hurt eight workers at a southeastern Wisconsin foundry.

Officials with Johnson Brass and Machine say a machine failure caused molten metal to fly out at the Saukville plant Monday afternoon.

Four of the workers are still in the burn unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

The foundry is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. That includes the Saukville Elementary School.

“I looked out and it was all hazy smoke outside,” Principal Chad Brakke said.

Brakke said the incident happened just after dismissal. Some children remained at the school for after-school activities, but outside play was off-limits.

“There was smoke coming out of the building. One of the teachers mentioned her monitor, computer monitor shook. Whatever happened there happened over here,” Brakke said.

Mark Edbauer Jr. was one of the injured workers.

On his Facebook page are messages of encouragement, with a family member expressing pride that Edbauer worked to help others.

A local hotel is offering free meals for family members affected by Monday’s incident.

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says it is interviewing witnesses and inspecting the foundry machinery.

It hopes to have answers soon, but officials say it could take months.

In 2011, OSHA records show the company was cited for seven violations. Three of them serious violations.

Johnson Brass President Lance Johnson issued a statement on Tuesday:

“For more than one hundred years my family has taken great pride in our safety record and our close relationship with our employees.”

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