Box ruptures, explodes at Puhi Metals

  • Photo courtesy County of Kauai

    Firefighters from the Lihue fire station were dispatched to Puhi Metals after residents reported hearing a blast and seeing smoke coming from the facility.

PUHI — A 38-year-old male of Kalaheo was seriously injured Friday morning when an item exploded and caught fire at Puhi Metals Recycling Facility.

About 8:30 a.m., firefighters from the Lihue fire station were dispatched to Puhi Metals after residents reported hearing a blast and seeing smoke coming from the facility.

According to a preliminary report, the man, who is an employee of Puhi Metals, was operating an excavator shearer on a metal box — about 5 feet long, 3 feet wide and 3 feet high — when the box ruptured and exploded. The man remained conscious and jumped off the excavator to safety.

Once on scene, firefighters found that employees at the facility managed to bring the fire under control using dry chemical extinguishers. Firefighters fully extinguished the remaining flames and smoldering debris shortly after. The man sustained severe burns to his arms and torso, and was transported by medics to Wilcox Medical Center.

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