Static Electricity MA Blast Cause

Friday, November 8, 2013 @ 12:11 PM gHale

A static electrical charge was the cause of an explosion and fire at a Woburn, MA, company Tuesday, said state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office.

The explosion occurred at the Powderpart company when an employee was using a vacuum to clean up machinery. The vacuum did not have a proper ground, which caused a build-up of static charge, igniting dust that caused the explosion, Coan’s office said Thursday.

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The employee, whose name was not immediately available, using the vacuum ended up critically injured. A worker from a neighboring business who tried to assist the man sustained minor injuries. A police officer also suffered minor injuries because of smoke inhalation, the fire marshal’s office said.

The regional Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to the scene and deenergized the vacuum, monitoring the area until it was safe for investigators to enter.

Powderpart specializes in 3-D printing for medical and aerospace applications, according to its Twitter profile. The company uses metal powders and 3-D printing that involves lasers, Coan’s office said.

Coan’s office, the Woburn Fire Department, State Police, Department of Fire Services Code Compliance officers, and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration all investigated the explosion.



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