Manchester Residents Describe The Moments After the G&S Plant Explosion - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Manchester Residents Describe The Moments After the G&S Plant Explosion

Those who live and work close to the G & S Plant had quite a wake-up call this morning, caught off guard by the sudden loud boom.

"At 8:30, we just heard this huge explosion, nobody knew what it was," said Bruce Maloy, the Director of Operations at AngioDynamics Incorporated, a medical supply facility right next to the metal plant's site.

"My grandson, he came running in here, saying, 'Nana, what happened?' He thought a bomb exploded," said Mildred Owsley, who lives across the street from the plant.

"Once we collected ourselves, we came outside saw this mushroom cloud of smoke coming from the horizon," said Kyle Daniel, a Ford Employee who works down the street.

These Manchester residents were in just a few hundred yards of the plant when the explosion literally rocked their world.

AngioDynamics Incorporated sits right next to the side of the plant that blew up.

"We were told to sit tight...we brought all of the employees together, they said 'Just stay put and we'll give you updates as we get them,'" said Maloy.

State Road 85 North, right next to the plant, was shut down for emergency services.

Across town, students at Manchester High were also put on lockdown.

"I got on P.A. system and told students I talked to police and everything was okay in the school.  There was no reason to panic in the school," said Dennis Medders, the principal of Manchester High.

Several students related to workers injured in the blast left school early to be with their families.

Counselors were brought in to help students work through any emotional repercussions.

"It is a small town, I'm from Manchester. Everybody knows everybody to some degree. It's just one of those things that is surreal. You would never think anything would happen in a town like Manchester," said Medders.

Mildred Owsley, who's grandson used to work at the plant, says it was just a matter of time before something like this happened.

"He said if there was ever just a little bit of water on that metal in that furnace it would have blown up," said Owsley.

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