Update, university cited in accident that injured worker - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Update, university cited in accident that injured worker

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Monroe, La. (KNOE 8 News) – Late Thursday morning State Fire Marshal investigators responded to a reported explosion on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe which injured a university employee.  

Just after 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, ULM police officers and Monroe firefighters were dispatched to Stubbs Hall on ULM main campus, in response to a reported explosion. Upon their arrival, they discovered that an employee of the university had sustained moderate burns to his hands and face. Fire suppression was unnecessary as the flash fire self-extinguished. Officials requested assistance from the State Fire Marshal's Office to investigate the cause of the explosion.

The explosion occurred in a mechanical room adjacent to Stubbs Hall. Fire investigators have determined the cause of the explosion to be residual gas trapped in an area near a heating boiler's burner control area. A maintenance employee attempted to ignite the boiler's burner with a handheld lighter after discovering that the combustion system was not functioning properly. The intended purpose of the boiler is to supply heat to Stubbs Hall. Stubbs Hall sustained no damage as a result of the explosion. All damage was confined to the mechanical room which suffered structural damage.

Investigators have determined that the 200 sq. ft. boiler system had been in use without the proper operating certificate issued by the state. The university was cited for a violation by Traveler's Insurance in October 2011 for deficiencies observed during an inspection of the boiler system, which was constructed in 1978. The university was required to correct those deficiencies and seek the proper operating certificate prior to placing the system in service. The last valid Certificate of Inspection expired in September 2011.

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