Eight United Parcel Service (UPS) employees were injured yesterday morning in connection with an acetylene explosion at one of the company’s facilities in Kentucky.
Propane Torch Ignited Acetylene Gas from Leaking Tank
Businesses near the UPS Freight Hub along the Blue Sky Parkway in Lexington reported hearing a large explosion at approximately 7:44 a.m.
The blast occurred on a truck and trailer located just outside the building.
Lexington fire officials suspect that one of the 42 acetylene tanks inside the trailer had been leaking. The highly-flammable gas made contact with a nearby propane torch, igniting the explosion.
“There was some work going on to the truck but we don’t know the extent of the work or if that’s potentially related to the cause,” Lexington Fire Battalion Chief Jason Wells said at a news briefing Wednesday morning. “At this time, there’s nothing that leads us to believe that this is anything but accidental.”
The UPS Freight Hub sustained heavy structural damage, with the force of the blast ripping through its roof, as well as its interior and exterior walls.
Two UPS Employees Admitted to Hospital with Burns, Possible Concussions
Eight UPS employees were transferred to a local hospital.
Two of those workers were admitted for observation because of concussion-like symptoms and burns.
The driver of the truck was in the vehicle when the explosion occurred and was the most seriously injured. He is said to be communicating and in good spirits.
The second employee was operating the propane torch.
Both were listed in fair condition as of yesterday afternoon.
The six remaining workers were treated and released on Wednesday.
Multiple Agencies Investigating UPS Acetylene Explosion
Multiple state, local, and federal agencies are now investigating the UPS Freight Hub explosion.
They include the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
UPS Risk Management is also participating in the investigation.
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