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PA: Arc Flash Victim Recovering

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Bensalem, PA:  A man critically burned last month in an electrical explosion at a Bensalem carpet business is recovering at Temple University’s Burn Center.

Bensalem Battalion Chief Rob Sponheimer is not releasing the man’s name, but said he was burned over 60 percent of his body in the Jan. 17 fire at Adams Carpet, off Street Road near Hulmeville Road.

An employee of the carpet business was also burned, but not as severely, as he helped to put the flames out on the contractor with a fire extinguisher.

Sponheimer said the contractor was working inside a three-phase electrical panel when one of his tools came in contact with the back of the panel, causing an arc-flash.

The arc-flash ignited the contractor’s clothing and hair.

“These types of arc-flashes can reach temperatures above 5,000 degrees, have a great amount of energy associated with them and have a blinding flash and deafening noise,” Sponheimer said.

An arc-flash occurs when electrical insulation or isolation between conductors is broken or can no longer withstand the applied voltage, according to The National Fire Protection Association.

Sponheimer did not say if the carpet store employee was still hospitalized.

Story via phillyburbs.com

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