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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Feds investigating explosion that injured 3 at AGL Welding Supply in Clifton

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Firefighters work at the scene of an explosion at a welding company in Clifton.
 tariq zehawi/staff photographer 

A Paterson man was severely burned and another worker was injured at a Route 46 supply store when oxygen they were using to fill cylinders inexplicably exploded Friday morning, fire Chief Vincent Colavitti Jr. said.

Roberto Silva, 45, has been taken to St. Barnabas Medical center and it appeared Friday afternoon that he would survive, Colavitti said. The other worker, who suffered from minor smoke inhalation, and a truck driver working nearby who also was shaken up by the force of the explosion were treated and released.

The 7 a.m. explosion at the AGL Welding Supply Co. at 600 Route 46 also ignited a fire that went to three alarms and prompted shutdowns of both vehicular and mass transit traffic in the immediate area.

The fire was declared under control at 8 a.m. But the chief said the three alarms had been needed in summoning enough staffing to deal with bitter cold conditions. The fire also had been contained by the building’s sprinkler system until firefighters arrived.

With oxygen still leaking from the storage tank after the explosion, Route 46 near the plant was shut down in both directions, as was Exit 154 of the Garden State Parkway northbound. Also, nearby trains were halted because of the possibility of additional explosions, Colavitti said. Firefighters were able to shut off the...

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