Two workers at Tesla Motors’ plant in Fremont remain hospitalized at a San Jose burn unit after they were injured by a hot-metal spill caused by an equipment failure. A third worker was released from Valley Medical Center late Wednesday. Terry McSweeney reports.
Two workers at Tesla Motors’ plant in Fremont remain hospitalized at a San Jose burn unit after they were injured by a hot-metal spill caused by an equipment failure. A third worker was released from Valley Medical Center late Wednesday.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk visited the injured workers. He said he wanted to make sure they were getting the best possible care.
The accident was reported at about noon.
"We had an equipment malfunction in our dye casting operation, essentially sending molten aluminum and that's the issue," Musk said.
The three employees were taken to the burn center at Valley Medical Center suffering from moderate-to-serious burns.
Cal-OSHA spokesman Greg Siggins told NBC Bay Area that his agency was called by the Fremont Fire Department about the "incident" around noon. It’s being classified as an industrial accident.
Siggins said the most serious injury was to an employee who suffered burns to the chest and upper body.
The plant, which opened in 2009, is located at 45500 Fremont Boulevard and can be easily seen from Interstate Highway 880. Tesla Motors designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and components.
Telsa has been fined by Cal-OSHA, the agency that oversees workplace safety, in the past. There was an accident on Nov. 28, 2011 when a worker's fingertip had to be amputated when he was pointing to a machine called a "shaker table" and was cut off when the machine malfunctioned, according to the state report. Tesla was fined $18,000, an amount that was ultimately reduced to $5,400. There were other accidents at the company in 2010 and 2012.
The most well-known cars made by the company are the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car, and the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan.
The company has been pressured recently because of three separate cases of Model S sedans catching on fire. CEO Elon Musk recently announced that he will not recall the Model S because of the fires.
As word got out about the incident at the factory, Tesla shares (TSLA) dipped by a few dollars, likely out of concern that another fire may have hit the company. Shares ended 90 cents higher to $138.70.
"There does seem to be I think too much attention paid to Tesla, good and bad," Musk said late Wednesday. "It seems like we get an unusual amount of attention no matter what it is."