Last Thursday, a North Andover Department of Public Works worker was injured. The explosion is under investigation; however, it is believed that the explosion may have been caused by fumes from a cutting torch.
Kenneth Wedge, 59, was using the acetylene torch to remove the top of a barrel. It exploded and surged 20 feet into the air, throwing Wedge about 5 feet. Wedge’s pants caught fire after the explosion, but he was able to snub out the flames by rolling on the ground. The accident victim endured second-degree burns and a broken right arm, but no internal injuries were found.
As a result of the accident, the DPW will institute new worker training to prevent future explosions and OSHA’s industrial accident division will examine reports and police photographs from the accident.