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2 Workers Hurt in Blast at Air Bag Igniter Factory

September 02, 2000

MOORPARK — Two workers were injured, one critically, in a Friday morning explosion at a company that makes triggering devices for air bags, the latest in a series of blasts at the firm.

The explosion occurred at 10:48 a.m. at Special Devices Inc. at 14370 White Sage Road while workers were assembling the air bag igniters.

Since 1982, two employees have been killed and seven injured in industrial accidents at Special Devices, which moved in late 1998 from Santa Clarita to a hillside complex at the east end of Moorpark, according to Cal/OSHA records.

In April of this year, another Special Devices employee was killed and a second injured during an explosion at a complex southeast of San Jose where the company runs a production line.

"This company has experienced explosions that have been fatal, involving the same chemical," said Dean Fryer, a spokesman for Cal/OSHA. "So we will definitely take that into consideration while we are looking at possible citations for this incident."

Immediately after the blast, Frank Snider, 26, of Simi Valley, was flown by helicopter to Simi Valley Hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition after surgery for lacerations to the chin, nose, forearms and ankle, hospital authorities said. On Friday evening, Snyder was recovering in the intensive care unit.

Jeremiah Calixtro, 32, of Moorpark, was taken by ambulance to Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, where he underwent surgery for a deep abrasion on his right hand.

Calixtro and Snider are both machine operators and have been working at Special Devices for just a few months.

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