CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – Two employees at a chemical facility in Fayette County were injured in an explosion Wednesday morning.

The accident happened while they were mixing chemicals at the O.C. Lugo company in Connellsville.

According to police, the two workers were mixing chemicals they work with every day, when something sparked and caused the explosion.

Fire crews were able to isolate a small fire caused by the explosion on a work table where two employees were mixing red phosphorus and fiberglass powder. Both men were flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital.

“This was an explosion in his hands. I do understand there was a possibility of some fingers missing. We did recover some and sent them down to UPMC Mercy. I don’t know if they’ll be able to reattach them,” New Haven Hose Company VFD Chief Bob Topper said.

Police have not been able to speak with the employees at this time about what led to the explosion.

“It could have been static electricity. It could have been a spark. It could have been just about anything,” Connellsville Police Chief James Capitos said.

Investigators said the employees mix these chemicals on a daily basis in the manufacturing of igniters for military oxygen generators.

Due to initial safety concerns and an unknown possibility of a second explosion, a one block radius surrounding the garage was evacuated.

Once the small fire and explosion site were contained, residents were allowed back in.

Police said that OSHA will most likely do a further investigation.


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Heather Abraham