Man airlifted to hospital after explosion at facility in Box Elder County

Posted at 5:12 PM, Feb 05, 2015

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah – One man was airlifted to a hospital with head injuries and burns Thursday after an explosion and fire at a facility in Promontory, which is an area of Box Elder County near the city of Corinne.

According to a press release from the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office: Fire, police and EMS units were dispatched to an Autoliv facility at about 4:15 p.m. Two men were inside the building, which has an incinerator used to dispose of excess materials used in airbags. The facility is used for "pyrotechnic processing," according to a sign at the scene.

As the two men were removing a completed batch from the incinerator and moving to put in a second batch, an explosion occurred. A 50-year-old male suffered injuries to the head area, including burns. The second individual was not injured, according to the press release.

"He was injured badly enough that they flew him from the scene on LifeFlight to McKay-Dee Hospital," said Dale Ward, the the chief deputy for the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office. "...He had head injuries, which included burns."

Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton said the man who was injured has severe burns. He said the fire is contained to one building at the complex and that they estimate that building will be a total loss. The press release stated the fire has been contained and that no other buildings are threatened. As of Thursday evening, firefighters were on scene but are allowing the building to burn--as it is unsafe to enter the structure.

"It's dangerous enough that they are not going to enter the building," Ward said. "The building's a total loss anyway, so they are just going to monitor it outside, control the fire, and let it burn itself out."

Autoliv America Spokesman Tom Hajkus confirms the details reported by fire officials and added that they have safety experts at the scene who will investigate whether the incident was caused by a problem in the facility or was due to human error.

The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time. FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.