One worker was killed and another injured in an explosion at a company that supplies services for the gas and oil industry.
The explosion occurred at West Penn Energy in Plumcreek, PA.
Gregory Bish and Jeffrey Riggle were trying to thaw a pipe fitting at the rear of a water tanker truck using a propane torch when the explosion occurred.
Bish was struck with the tank’s rear cover plate, sending him airborne. He was blasted over a 7-foot fence for a distance of 62 feet. The county coroner pronounced Bish dead at the scene.
Riggle suffered a leg fracture and was hospitalized in stable condition.
OSHA’s investigation is focusing on whether substances other than water were being hauled in the tank truck. Officials ordered an inspection of the tank’s interior because of suspicious vapors.
This story provides an important reminder to workers: Don’t use a propane torch if they suspect flammable vapors may be present.