McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 7, 2013

Breaking news: Official says 2 hospitalized following two explosions

School evacuated


Staff report

EUFAULA — A McIntosh County official has reported that two employees of a sandblasting company have been hospitalized with burn injuries after a pair of explosions that happened while they were working on propane tanks.

Wesley Dawson, director of the Office of Emergency Management for McIntosh County, said witnesses reported a small explosion, followed minutes later by a larger one.

Firefighters were first dispatched to the scene at Ford Sandblasting on the west side of Eufasula at 12:29 p.m. Tuesday, Dawson said, and 700 students at nearby Eufaula Middle and Elementary School were evacuated.

Dawson said preliminary reports indicate the two employees were sandblasting and painting propane tanks when the explosions happened.

Responding were firefighers from Eufaula, Hanna, Texanna and Vivian.

The building containing the sandblasting company remained evacuated at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and smoke could be seen coming from the building. Three more propane tanks are inside the building, and offiicals from the Oklahoma Propane Administration and the Oklahoma Fire Marshal's office were en route, Dawson said.