UPDATED — A Primex Plastics Corp. worker burned in an electrical accident at the company's Mesquite, Nev., plant will recover, according to a company official.
The worker was injured Sept. 24 when there was an arc associated with an electrical panel he was working on at the plastic sheet extrusion facility, both company and local fire officials report.
“We did have an injured worker,” said Tim Schultz, vice president of sales and marketing for Primex said Sept. 25. “He's going to be OK.”
Mesquite Fire Chief Kash Christopher described the accident as an explosion, but Schultz questioned whether there was an actual explosion.
“It did cause a disruption,” said Schultz. “We're still looking at what exactly happened.”
This is how Christopher described the accident:
“They were working on an electrical panel, and when they fired it up, the panel arced. And when it arced, the explosive mixture with the dust in the air ignited, causing the explosion and then causing the fire to go up the wall,” he said.
“The occupants, God bless them, put the fire out with four extinguishers. So by the time we got there, the fire was already out,” the fire chief.
It was about five minutes between the time the fire was called in and when firefighters arrived, Christopher said.
The Primex employee was transported by medical helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas with burns on his face and upper torso, the fire chief said. “The injury was pretty serious.”
Schultz said the employee, whose identity was not revealed by either the fire department or the company, will recover from his burns. “Fortunately, he's going to be OK. It's a tragic thing that something happened,” the company official said.
Primex continued work in other parts of the plant after the accident. “They let us continue operating with the other machines when they were doing their sweep of the building,” Schultz said.
Christopher said his department, Mesquite Fire and Rescue, was continuing its investigation of the mishap.