Grandview public works employee hurt in explosion

GRANDVIEW - A newly constructed wellhouse in Grandview exploded yesterday, injuring public works employee Dave Martinez.

According to Public Works Director Cus Arteaga, the well had been flushed with chlorine outside of the building so that Martinez could obtain a water sample for the Department of Health. Arteaga said Martinez was standing in the doorway when he lit a cigarette and the explosion took place.

Arteaga explained that the chlorine had been applied deep down in the well and then pumped out.

"It's just water coming into the building from the well, then it goes into a pit in the floor to drain," Arteaga said. "There were no gases, no propane, no gas heater, no chlorine gasses." At the time, there was no chlorine going through, he added.

"Now, we're going to need to run tests to see if there are gasses in the water," said Arteaga.

Arteaga said that when the explosion occurred, the concussion went straight up. Martinez was burned when a piece of insulation fell on him.

Arteaga said Martinez was awake and talking after the explosion. His hair was burned and he has second degree burns on his face and fourth degree burns on his hands.

Martinez is currently at Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.

The accident is currently under investigation.


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