Man Killed in Washington Fireworks Plant Explosion
Thurston County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Greg Elwin told reporters that a fireworks plant worker was killed on Wednesday morning after an explosion at the plant.
About the Washington Fireworks Plant Explosion
According to the Seattle Times, a 74-year-old man died Wednesday morning after an explosion at Entertainment Fireworks located between Tenino and Tumwater, Wash. The blast occurred at approximately 10 a.m. as workers were preparing shells for shipping. The exact cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Elwin told the Seattle Times that the man, whose name has not been released, died while waiting for a medical helicopter to transport him to a regional trauma center. Two other employees were injured in the blast as well. One worker, identified as 25-year-old male was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with burn injuries. The third worker was driven by private vehicle to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Wash.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as well as the state Department of Labor and Industries are investigating the blast.
A statement released by Ken Julian, vice president of operations at Entertainment Fireworks said, “We are a small company where everyone works together – it’s like a family. When something like this happens, it is devastating. We have been in business more than 16 years and nothing like this has every happened as safety is our No. 1 priority, and we pride ourselves on our highly qualified staff.”
Burn Injury Statistics
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), more than 450,000 burns in the U.S. require medical treatment. Of those burns, about 40,000 require hospitalization, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers. Tragically, in the U.S. about 3,400 people die each year from fire, burns, or smoke inhalation.