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Flammable tire cleaner possible cause of car wash explosion: Platoon Chief
Published Friday, August 18, 2017 4:55PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, August 18, 2017 6:24PM MDT
Emergency crews were called to a Red Deer car wash late Friday afternoon, after an explosion.
Officials told CTV News two people were in critical condition, and a third was in potentially life threatening condition after flammable liquid exploded at the Lazer Wash, located on 67A Street and 59 Avenue in Red Deer.
Platoon Chief Sheldon Christensen told CTV News crews were called to the car wash at about 4 p.m., and arrived to find three individuals injured.
Christensen said the flammable liquid was used to clean tires on vehicles.
“There was a small amount of product left in a barrel with the lid open, and it exploded and burned three people,” Christensen said. He said the barrel was open, and a small amount of the product, which Christensen said contained naphtha, and employees were working with open flame, which sparked the explosion.
The injured are believed to be employees, and they’re all believed to be in their 20s – Christensen could not confirm further details on the identities of the three seriously injured individuals, they suffered burns in the fire.
“As far as size of the problem, it wasn’t that big, but when it involves people that’s the worst thing,” Christensen said. “Buildings and stuff can be replaced, but three people burned, those are debilitating injuries.”
Christensen said the fire had been put out by the owner of the car wash by the time crews got to the scene, and they ensured there were no hazards.
STARS Air Ambulance was called in to deal with the incident – although they were stood down a short time later.
A witness told CTV News they heard a loud bang at the car wash, before running down to help. He said people were screaming and there was a lot of black smoke, and he couldn’t see anything.
Another witness told the employee he saw someone come out of the car wash on fire.
CTV News has confirmed Occupational Health and Safety officials were on the scene late Friday afternoon. Christensen said their investigator was also on the scene.