Zodiac Aerospace says U.S. factory blast only affects part of plant

PARIS (Reuters) - Zodiac Aerospace said an explosion earlier this week at a U.S. factory had caused significant damage but that only part of the facility had been affected.

The French company added in a statement on Friday that it was looking at whether it could restart production at different parts of the site or at another location.

"The analysis of the consequences of this explosion on our operations is going on," Zodiac said. "The facility has suffered from important damages.

"The first assessment of the facility shows that only the 'prepreg' production line has been damaged," it said, referring to a thin resin-soaked sheeting glued to either side of a thicker honeycomb core to make rigid wall panels for lavatories, galleys and other aircraft interior sections.

"The teams are assessing the options to restart the production inside the preserved parts of the plant or in another location."

The blast at the plant in Newport, Washington, on Tuesday night fractured concrete pillars, blew out windows and caused a floor to collapse, authorities said.

Zodiac added that the Newport plant's existing stocks should enable it to supply the group's other sites in the short term.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by David Holmes)

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