Syracuse Construction Worker Killed in Gas Tank Explosion in Dickinson

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WICZ-TV reported on September 20, 2019, that a Syracuse man was killed in an industrial accident at a Speedway on Front Street in Dickinson. The victim was working for the Syracuse affiliate of Environmental Product and Services of Vermont and was cleaning the inside of an underground tank when an explosion occurred.

According to WNBF-AM, workers had begun working on the fuel tanks only a few days prior and one customer was told that the work would take several weeks. WICZ reported that New York State Police at Binghamton and emergency personnel were dispatched to 704 Front Street after a report of an explosion, and WNBF reported that firefighters prepared to start a rescue operation but determined the worker in the confined space had not survived within a matter of minutes.

According to WICZ, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified about the incident and would be investigating it. No residents needed to be evacuated and the road reopened less than an hour after the original report of the explosion.

“Something ignited the gases in the tank, and then they burst and oxygen was provided through the neck of the tank,” Broome County Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Ponticello told Spectrum Local News.

WBNG-TV reported that an OSHA spokesperson said, in part, that the agency’s Syracuse office had opened an ongoing inspection of Environmental Products and Services of Vermont (EPS) in connection with the fatality in Binghamton. The purpose of the inspection “is to determine whether or not there were any violations of workplace safety or health standards in connection with this incident.”

The spokesperson said the agency does not discuss the specifics of ongoing inspections but will inform others of the outcome. The spokesperson said it was too early to estimate a completion date for this particular inspection and the agency has up to six months to complete an inspection.

Authorities also told WBNG that the explosion is described as a flashover limited to the inside of the tank. Departments that responded to the explosion included the Chenango Fire Department, Superior Ambulance, New York State Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Office, Binghamton Fire and Confined Space Team, Broome County Fire and Emergency Services, Five Mile Point Fire Department, and Broome County Hazardous Materials Team.

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