Static charge caused dust explosion in Mass. Tuesday

Woburn, MA — An explosion Tuesday that critically injured a worker in East Woburn was caused by an electrical charge that triggered a dust explosion, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, Woburn Interim Director of Fire and Emergency Services Robert DiPoli, and Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo, Jr. said in a joint statement released today.

An employee was using an improperly grounded vacuum to clean machinery when a build-up of static charge inside the vacuum ignited the dust, causing an explosion and subsequent small fire, officials said.

One man was critically injured and airlifted to a Boston hospital by MedFlight shortly after the first emergency call came in at 12:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. A worker from a neighboring company attempting to help the man suffered minor injuries, and a police officer was also treated as a precaution.

Powderpart uses metal powders and a 3-D printing process that involves lasers during production, according to the release.

A representative from Powderpart did not want to comment on the incident.

The origin and cause investigation was jointly conducted by members of the Woburn Fire Department, detectives from the Woburn Police Department, State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The regional Hazmat team, State Police Detectives from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, State Police Crime Scene Services, Department of Fire Services Code Compliance officers, representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration also responded to the scene.

via Static charge caused explosion in Woburn Tuesday – Woburn, MA – Woburn Advocate.

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