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Worker Killed in Accident at Aerospace Facility

September 13, 2003|From Associated Press

SAN JOSE — A worker at an aerospace plant was killed Friday morning while performing maintenance at the sprawling facility in rural Santa Clara County, officials said. No other injuries were reported.

The contract worker was working in an area where rocket fuels are mixed, said Patrick Louden, a spokesman for Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion. He declined to release the worker's name or to identify the contract, pending notification of the victim's family.

Earlier, the accident had been characterized as an explosion. Later, Louden said it was unclear what had happened.

"At this point we don't know if there was a fire or not," he said. "But it was not characterized as an explosion."

No other details were immediately available.

On Aug. 7, a huge explosion demolished a three-story building at the site on the property and set off a 20-acre grass fire, but no one was injured because the nearest employee was in a remote bunker where workers seek refuge when mixing volatile fuels.

The mixing of rocket fuel has been halted since that blast, which remains under investigation, Louden said.

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