FARRELL, Pa. (AP) -- A tanker truck loaded with 6,000 gallons of hydrogen exploded and burned at a metals processing plant, burning the driver, injuring another worker and threatening an even larger storage tank.
The blast occurred after 6 p.m. Sunday at the Duferco Farrell Corp. plant in Farrell, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio border, said Mike Hrycyk, human resources vice president.
The truck from Air Liquide, a Houston-based company that produces and distributes cryogenic liquids and gases, was at the plant offloading its hydrogen into a storage tank when the explosion occurred, Hrycyk told The Associated Press on Monday. The tanker then burned, endangering a storage tank that contained 12,000 to 14,000 gallons of hydrogen.
Plant workers and fire crews worked overnight to pour water on the storage tank until the tanker fire burned itself out about 7:30 a.m. Monday, Hrycyk said.
Hrycyk could not release the names of the driver, who was taken to the burn unit of a hospital in Akron, Ohio, with second-degree burns, or the driver's helper, who suffered some cuts and was treated and released at nearby Sharon Hospital.
An official with Air Liquide did not immediately return a call Monday.
The steel-processing company converts the metal to coils and employs about 570 workers.
Plant workers were evacuated without incident and overnight production shifts were canceled, Hrycyk said. The plant reopened and was operating normally Monday morning.
Neighbors told The Herald newspaper of Sharon that the explosion shook their homes.
"It was an eight on the Richter scale," resident Dave Gervais said.