Equinox chemicals worker in critical condition - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Equinox chemicals worker in critical condition

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A worker at at Albany chemical manufacturing plant remains in critical condition at the Augusta Burn Center tonight, after he was burned in a flash fire Wednesday night.

37 year old Jason Pate suffered second degree burns over much of his body in the industrial accident at Equinox Chemicals on West Oakridge about 9 PM.

Fire investigators say Pate was operating a chemical machine, when two gasket seals on the machine ruptured from pressure. That blew the manifold system off acetylene tanks, spewing the flammable gas into the air and sparking a flash fire.

The company owner shut down production after the fire.

Equinox Chemicals owner Mark Grimaldi said  "Our most important asset is our people. As a small business it's a family. It really is. We are just concerned about Jason right now, and making sure his family has got the support they need."

Firefighters stayed at the plant overnight to make sure the acetylene tanks were empty, and there was no more fire danger.

Grimaldi said they will not re-start production at the plant until they have finished their internal investigation, and made sure about all safety issues.

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