DEXTER, Mich. (WJBK) – Dexter Fire Chief Loren Yates described it as a flash explosion. His fire crews didn’t have to fight flames, but needed to act fast to rescue the victims who were blown into the air by a methane gas explosion. One man landed on top of a roof, the other, he said, near a stairwell.
“We were in a tremendous hurry to try and get him off that roof and get him to the hospital,” Yates said.
Ambulances rushed both men to the University of Michigan Hospital where a 48-year-old worker from Brooklyn died from his injuries. The other man in his mid-20s is in stable condition.
The two men were working for A.Z. Shmina Incorporated based in Brighton. We’re told they had been working to remodel a holding tank for months. They were using a welding torch to cut the steel beams that surround the structure when the sparks from the torch triggered the blast.
Nobody from A.Z. Shmina or the treatment plant would comment and soon kicked us off the property.
The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department said it was an industrial mishap and no foul play was involved.
I asked Yates what went wrong.
“I think that’s what they’re investigating right now,” he replied. “I assume they know what they’re doing, but why this happened I don’t know.”
The state came out to try and find out if these workers violated any safety standards. We’re told MI-OSHA did complete its preliminary investigation, but will not release its findings until the entire investigation is completed.
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