Su­per­mar­ket gas ex­plo­sion vic­tim taken to hospi­tal

APART­MENTS EVAC­U­ATED AS SU­PERVALU AND AR­GOS FORCED TO CLOSE

Wexford People - - FRONT PAGE - By PÁDRAIG BYRNE

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.

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