Supermarket gas explosion victim taken to hospital
APARTMENTS EVACUATED AS SUPERVALU AND ARGOS FORCED TO CLOSE
A FEMALE supermarket employee was rushed to hospital on Sunday having suffered burns in a gas explosion at Pettitt’s SuperValu in Key West.
The incident around 9 a.m. is believed to have been caused by a small gas leak behind one of the ovens in the store’s bakery. When the staff member attempted to light the oven in the morning, it caused an explosion which resulted in burns to her arms.
Emergency services were immediately called to the scene and the woman was rushed to hospital while firefighters brought the fire under control, isolated the gas supply and cut electricity to the building.
Neighbouring buildings were evacuated, including the Key West apartments above, until the situation was brought fully under control. The Pettitt’s SuperValu and Argos stores both had to close for the day.
A spokesman for the Fire Service said it ‘could have been a lot worse’ had the leak been any larger, possibly posing a threat to life and resulting in much more damage.
A WOMAN was rushed to hospital after suffering burns in a gas explosion at Pettitt’s SuperValu in Wexford’s Key West on Sunday morning.
Emergency services rushed to the scene on Sunday morning and members of the fire service quickly sought to bring the fire under control and evacuated all neighbouring buildings.
The explosion was caused by a minor gas leak from one of the ovens in the supermarket’s bakery.
It is understood that when the staff member attempted to light the oven, having arrived into work at 9 a.m. that morning, the spark caused a minor explosion, resulting in significant burns to her arms.
An ambulance was immediately called for the staff member and two units of Wexford Fire Service responded to the call. A firefighting team wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and set about putting out the blaze. They isolated the gas supply and cut the electricity to the store, while residents of the Key West apartments above and neighbouring businesses were quickly evacuated.
The fire service used their Positive Pressure Ventilation
System (PPV) to clear the building of smoke, and the situation was said to be under control by 10.45 a.m.
SuperValu and the adjacent Argos store remained closed throughout Sunday as a precaution and to allow the smoke to clear.
A spokesperson for Co Wexford Fire Service said that the situation ‘could have been a lot worse’ and that had the gas leak been any greater, it could have completely destroyed the building. The fire crews were praised for their quick actions and were said to have saved the Pettitt’s SuperValu store from far more significant damage.
‘All safety systems kicked into place instantly regarding fire alarms and sprinkler systems,’ said store owner Cormac Pettitt.
‘I would to like to pay huge tribute to the store management and staff on how they handled this emergency. They remained calm throughout and followed through on their fire safety training. I would also like to thank representatives of Wexford Garda station, the Wexford Fire service and Wexford General Hospital for their rapid response.’
Mr Pettitt confirmed that the Health and Safety Authority were also notified of the incident and that an investigation is ongoing.
The woman’s injuries were said to be relatively minor and she was later released from Wexford General Hospital.
A unit of Wexford Fire Service at the scene on Sunday morning.
A fire officer at the scene of the incident at Key West on Sunday morning.