Two workers injured in explosion involving acetone truck

Published 4:42 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of an explosion at a fiberglass shop here that injured two workers.

Officials said the blast occurred Monday at a the shop owned by United Truck Group LLC and located off Interstate 10 and Canal Street. One shop worker was taken to a hospital for treatment of burns, while a second worker was treated at the scene. The condition of the hospitalized worker was not immediately available.

United Truck Group officials had no immediate comment.

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Authorities planned to speak with the injured man to help determine what caused the fire, Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said.

Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to a 55-gallon drum of acetone and contained the runoff to the building, authorities said.

In addition to the barrel, the metal building held other containers of acetone as well as resin and gel coating, said Earl Etheridge, onsite coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Acetone is a colorless, flammable liquid used to make plastic, fibers and drugs. It is the active ingredient in nail polish remover. Exposure to the chemical can cause sore throat, headache and dizziness.

It wasn’t clear what the two workers were doing when the explosion occurred.