Workplace Explosion Sends Two To Hospital

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- An explosion at WhiteWave Foods Thursday morning sent two people to the hospital.

Clark Rasmussen, 41, of Winchester, Va., went to Sentara RMH on his own with a hand injury and Dwane Neil, 49, of Brandywine, W.Va., was flown to U Va. Medical Center with a head injury. As of 3:15 p.m., Neil was in fair condition.

Both men are employees of Perry Engineering.

At 9:02 a.m., emergency services were dispatched to WhiteWave Foods in Mt. Crawford for an industrial accident.

The investigation revealed that Perry Engineering was pressure testing a 12-inch sprinkler supply line. The supply line was reduced to an 8-inch line inside. Air was found in the line during the pressure test. While two Perry Engineering employees were releasing a coupling on the blind cap on the 8 inch line, it exploded.

The fire marshal indicated that it is more than likely that the pressure from the air pocket blew the cap off.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident and at this time, no foul play is expected.

After we posted our story White Wave contacted us with this statement:

"We are aware of an incident that has occurred this morning at our manufacturing facility in Mt. Crawford, Virginia. We are expanding our warehouse at the site and two individuals who work as contractors were injured in the process. The individuals were testing a water line and a portion of the line failed causing injury to both of them. Both are being treated at local hospitals.

We are saddened by this incident and our thoughts and sympathy are with the victims and their families. We are focused on the safety and well-being of the other contractors and employees at the work site.

Employee and contractor safety is a top priority and we have a number of procedures in place to ensure a safe work environment. An investigation is currently underway and WhiteWave Foods is cooperating fully with local Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials. Once the investigation is complete, we will determine what the next steps will be and we will provide updates as appropriate.

We are committed to making necessary changes to ensure a safe work environment for our employees and contractors."


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