NJ Welding Factory Blast Injures 3

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 @ 12:02 PM gHale

An explosion at a Clifton, NJ, welding factory severely burned an employee Friday and injured two others, fire officials said.

The initial explosion occurred as three employees were filling cylinders with oxygen from a larger reservoir of the gas at AGL Welding Supply, said Clifton fire Chief Vincent Colavitti Jr. One of the employees suffered severe burns to his upper body in the blast and rescue workers rushed him to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, Colavatti said. He then went to the burn center at St. Barnabas Medical Center soon, Colavatti said. He didn’t have any additional information on the victim.

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The two other employees who were in the vicinity of the explosion went to Hackensack University Medical Center, one suffering from minor smoke inhalation and the other ended up shaken up from the incident, Colavatti said.

The initial explosion at 7 a.m. set off a couple of other explosions, as additional cylinders of gas suffered exposure to the blaze, he said. The situation, however, could have been much worse: The building’s sprinkler system kept the fire in check, Colvatti said.

Officials closed down Route 46 because oxygen continued to flow from the building, he said. Firefighters fought the three-alarm fire in frigid weather conditions and the presence of different gases in the building, he said.

The fire appears to be accidental, but the cause remains under investigation, he said. Employees returned to the main office portion of the business, he said.

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