LANCASTER, OH (WCMH) — A chemical truck explosion sent two men to the hospital in Lancaster on Wednesday morning.
Fire captain Craig Murdock of Berne Township Fire Department says one of the men injured ran and hid behind this Jeep, but the other man was burned badly and taken by helicopter to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Justin Lane was in the middle of work when he heard the blast and saw the smoke.
“We hear a big old boom and we almost thought it was a truck or something hitting our building. It hit really hard. I felt it–I had my headphones in and I heard it.”
Fire Captain Craig Murdock says the chemical truck was on its way to Columbus from West Virginia. Murdock says the 3,000-gallon truck as about half full and it stopped to thaw out some valves.
“During the process of thawing the truck, they had bled off a valve that released hydrocarbons into the air. The diesel engine was running on the truck, it sucked in those fumes so the truck was running off the gas fumes coming from the tank.”
Then the explosion happened, causing workers to run and even blowing out windows from the building next door. Debris went flying hundreds of feet away.
“The fire was out probably within the first half hour but most of the time was spent cooling the tank to make sure it didn’t have a secondary explosion,” Captain Murdock said.
Captain Murdock says neighbors felt the blast miles away, and he felt it at his own home.
“It shook my house in approximately 4 miles from the incident and it shook the windows in our house so you could feel it for quite a distance.”