GM: “Chemical gases from the battery cells were released and ignited “ image

A lithium-ion battery exploded yesterday at GM’s technical center in Warren, Michigan, with at least two people being taken to a hospital.

The US based automaker has just announced that the explosion was caused by gases venting from an experimental battery pack.

“Chemical gases from the battery cells were released and ignited in the enclosed chamber,” GM said in a statement. “The battery itself was intact.”

One of the injured people has life-threatening injuries, the Detroit Free Press reported on its website, citing Wilburt McAdams, Warren fire commissioner.

“When the crews were on the scene, they reported smoke but not a lot of fire,” Frederick said. Five employees were evaluated by medical personnel and one received further treatment, GM said.

The battery in question was reportedly built by A123 Systems, the Massachusetts-based manufacturer contracted to supply lithium-ion batteries for the Chevrolet Spark EV that goes on sale next year.