A View Royal firefighter waves the all-clear at KMS Tools in View Royal Thursday afternoon.

Welding bottle rupture clears tool store

  • Feb. 17, 2011 8:00 p.m.

An employee of KMS Tools on Island Highway was sent to hospital with a burn to his hand after a valve ruptured on an oxygen cylinder Thursday afternoon.

Employees at the shop said they heard a “bang” and were told to evacuate immediately, around 4 p.m. One witness said a line between oxygen bottles used for welding became red hot and burst.

View Royal fire Chief Paul Hurst confirmed the 47-year-old employee was transferring pressurized gas between welding cylinders when the brass fitting attached to the bottle melted, causing a rapid release of oxygen.

The incident was first reported as an “oxygen explosion,” prompting a response from 30 firefighters from View Royal and Colwood with six trucks, along with several B.C. Ambulance crews and three RCMP cruisers.

Hurst said the leak was quickly contained. There was no damage to the business and no gas cylinders exploded. Worksafe BC and View Royal Fire are continuing their investigation on Friday.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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