HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Nearby buildings shook when a hydrogen tank outside Cimarron Composites at 4912 Moores Mill Rd. exploded Thursday afternoon. Witnesses say it was amazing no one was seriously hurt, even workers who were standing nearby.
Employees with the Huntsville gas company said they were testing liquid nitrogen when the hydrogen tank exploded at approximately 2:30 p.m. Emergency crews found debris flooded the parking lot. In fact, shrapnel landed all over the neighborhood.
Capt. Frank McKenzie with Huntsville Fire & Rescue said two workers nearby were hurt but not seriously. He said they were walking around after the explosion but still went to the hospital to be checked out. He said it was "really lucky" no one else in the area was hit by falling debris.
Employees at National Copper can agree with that. The copper company is located approximately 150 yards down the street, but that distance didn't stop a piece of metal from tearing through the front wall and crashing into the middle of the work floor. No one was hurt but they were all shocked at the explosion even before they saw the debris crash into the building.
"We all thought a truck hit the dock," said Dennis Myers, a purchasing agent for National Copper. "The whole building shook."
A hazardous material team, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to Cimarron. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.