MATTOON - Exploding machinery produced a tense moment at the General Electric Lamp Plant early Monday morning.

The incident did not result in any reported injuries.

The initial emergency call at 7:32 a.m. indicated an explosion in the GE coating area required the evacuation of plant personnel, Mattoon Fire shift captain Doug Dodson said.

There turned out to be no injuries and a check of the coating area by firefighters using oxygen tanks indicated no toxic chemicals in the air. Firefighters canceled a Rapid Intervention Team response from the Charleston Fire Department when more details on the extent of the emergency was known. The RIT program has both departments sending backup if a structure fire or major disaster requires interior rescue operations.

Ambulances were called to the plant at 1501 S. 19th St. as a precaution, Dodson said.

"There were no reported injuries. An air quality check showed everything was all right. The ambulances were called to check on a report of dust in the plant," Dodson said. "The evacuation in this case is regular procedure for that plant."

Mattoon firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

Contact Herb Meeker at or 238-6869.


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