Man dies after Bell County, Ky. meth lab explosion

Man dies after Bell County, Ky. meth lab explosion

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Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Shane Stewart told 6 News a man came to the hospital Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. with severe burns resulting from an explosion in his garage in Arjay Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Shane Stewart told 6 News a man came to the hospital Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. with severe burns resulting from an explosion in his garage in Arjay
Video from security cameras at the hospital show the man was dropped off outside the emergency room Video from security cameras at the hospital show the man was dropped off outside the emergency room
Hospital workers closed the emergency room and nearby radiology department Hospital workers closed the emergency room and nearby radiology department

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

PINEVILLE, Ky. (WATE) - A man who was injured and later died in a Bell County, Ky. meth lab explosion caused the emergency room of Pineville Community Hospital to close for several hours Tuesday.

Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Shane Stewart told 6 News a man came to the hospital Tuesday morning around 8 a.m. with severe burns resulting from an explosion in his garage in Arjay.

"The gentleman had stated he had been burned in an ATV accident, we soon after found it was a more serious incident, it was a shake and bake meth lab that had exploded," explained Joshua Collett, the risk manager for Pineville Community Hospital.

Video from security cameras at the hospital show the man was dropped off outside the emergency room. Collett says the car and those inside then fled the scene.

Hospital workers closed the emergency room and nearby radiology department. Employees and patients were quarantined and decontaminated.

The toxic fumes and the residue from a meth lab explosion can cause skin irritation and respiatory irritation to those exposed.

"We had 27 people who were decontaminating in an emergency shower," Collett explained.

But the people at the hospital weren't the only ones exposed to the chemicals.

"There were two scenes going on," explained Bell County Emergency Management Director Ben Barnett. "The call at the property in Arjay came in as a regular fire. Little did [firefighters] know they had responded to a meth lab explosion and those people too had to be decontaminated."

But the process all went smoothly because of a recent drill featuring a mock chemical explosion.

"All those steps we used [during the drill], that the hospital had put in place, came in handy and applied in this situation very well," said Barnett.

"There has never been a real situation in our ER that has warranted this training to go into effect," said Collett.

During the nearly six hour closure emergencies were diverted to other area hospitals.

The burn victim was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he died Tuesday afternoon. His name has not yet been released.

Bell County Sheriff's Department is investigating the fire as well as the incident.

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