Explosion at Gas Bottling Plant Injures Worker

SALEM TOWNSHIP, PA – Firefighters responded to a reported gas explosion in an acetylene tank at Western International Gas & Cylinders, on River Road off U.S. Route 11, Wednesday, that injured one employee.

According to a report in The Citizen’s Voice, the fire suppression system at the facility kept the flames under control and firefighters stayed at the scene mainly as a precautionary measure until the fire burned itself out.

The injured worker was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The worker’s name and medical condition were not available Wednesday night.

An official from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived at the scene late Wednesday afternoon. Emergency management officials from Salem Twp. and Luzerne County also responded.

Salem Twp. firefighters have a “pre-plan” in effect for responding to incidents at the Western International Gas location. Officials said, “everything went according to plan.”

A third alarm was called in as a precaution, in case the fire suppression system failed. Fire departments from throughout western Luzerne County and eastern Columbia County responded, as did Berwick Area Ambulance.