A 77-year-old Syracuse, New York, shop employee was killed the morning of Sept. 18 when an oil drum he was cutting with a plasma cutter exploded.
K&C Auto Body employee Robert Hill was severely injured when the accident happened just before noon and died a short time later, WSYR-TV reported. Police believe the liquid in the drum likely waste oil ignited while the plasma cutter was being used, causing the explosion.
“Any sealed container that has any explosives or flammable liquid in it without a vent could explode when introduced to heat,” Syracuse fire investigator Joe Galloway told the TV station.
Neighbors said they could hear the explosion from blocks away.
The Syracuse Fire Department is investigating the accident, and OSHA is investigating the shop to find out whether it has committed any other workplace safety violations.
Click HERE for a video and slideshow from WSYR-TV.