Explosion Leaves Lansing Man Fighting for Life After Factory Accident

EATON RAPIDS, Mich. – A Lansing man is in critical condition at an Ann Arbor hospital after sustaining severe burns in an explosion at a factory in Eaton Rapids last week, according to a family member. Mark Gillespie, 56, was initially taken to Sparrow Hospital on Thursday afternoon before being airlifted to the burn unit at University of Michigan Hospital. His older brother, Les Gillespie, mentioned that Mark is currently stable, but still in critical condition.

Gillespie suffered burns to more than 50% of his head and body, and his brother stated that he has a 50% chance of survival. The incident occurred at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America facility, and local officials have been relatively tight-lipped about the details. Eaton Rapids Mayor Pam Colestock confirmed that three people were injured in a “small explosion,” with one individual sustaining burns.

Eaton Rapids Fire Chief Roger McNutt confirmed that the injured employee was taken to Sparrow Hospital, but did not provide any updates on the person’s condition. Meanwhile, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that an investigation into the incident at Meridian Magnesium is ongoing, emphasizing that such investigations can take several months to complete.

According to Les Gillespie, Mark has worked at the plant for over a decade, and the family has been struggling to obtain details about the incident. Meridian Magnesium has not publicly commented on the incident, and a spokesman for the company declined to respond to inquiries. The plant, which produces products for the auto industry, has had previous incidents, including a series of explosions in 2018 that caused significant damage to the facility.

Despite the lack of information on the cause of the explosion, the company continued to employ over 400 people in Eaton Rapids at that time. The incident has raised concerns about workplace safety and the potential risks faced by employees in industrial settings. As the investigation into the latest incident continues, Mark Gillespie’s family is holding onto hope for his recovery while dealing with the uncertainty and challenges ahead.