Staff member injured in WIT explosion

By Catriona Hughes
A man was injured following a gas explosion at a Waterford Institute of Technology facility, on Friday November 4.

The man is said to be in his 60s and is recovering in hospital since the accident. A gas cylinder allegedly exploded at around 10am at an IDA Industrial Estate on the city’s Cork Road.

“The man was rushed to Waterford Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” according to a garda spokesman.

Several factories were evacuated as a precautionary measure and a 650ft cordon was put in place surrounding the building.

Fire-fighters brought the fire under control but remained at the scene of the explosion as a precaution. The man in question is said to have suffered minor burns to his face and arms.

The Health and Safety Authority is currently investigating the incident. The IDA explained that the building is leased to Waterford IT and an IDA spokeswoman said, “We wish the injured man well.”

Waterford IT also commented on the incident saying that one staff member was injured and taken to hospital where his condition was described as comfortable.

Waterford City Fire Service confirmed that there were two gas explosions involving acetylene and oxygen at Waterford IT’s applied technology campus.

ESB, Bord Gáis, Gardaí and BOC ,who supply medical, industrial and special gases, were also on-site following the incident.

Estates manager for Waterford IT commented on the incident saying, “Our priority at the moment is to ensure that the area is made safe as soon as possible and we’ve been working closely with the authorities to that end.”

“The Health and Safety Authority will carry out an investigation into the incident and we will assist them in any way we can. We will also carry out our own internal investigation.”

“The safety of staff and students is paramount and we will be doing everything possible to ensure that this type of incident cannot occur again.”

“We would also like to send our good wishes to the staff member injured in the incident and wish him a speedy recovery.”

No further updates on the current condition of the man’s injuries were released to the College View as a sign of respect to his concerned family.


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