Spark from welder triggered Coeymans marina explosion, according to preliminary report
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media a preliminary investigation by the Albany County Sheriff's office has determined the explosion that sparked a major fire at the Coeymans marina this week was caused by an employee welding close to a waste oil tank. The explosion and subsequent fire at Coeymans Landing Marine Services injured the employee, who was airlifted by LifeNet to the University of Vermont Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. The 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, suffered severe burns to his face and body, according to the sheriff. The incident generated plumes of black smoke that spread across the hamlet on January 20. Residents and businesses were not officially evacuated, but they were encouraged to leave the area if possible, Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh said. “The firemen went around to houses nearby and told people to close their windows and not come outside, and if they have someplace else to go, go,” McHugh said. Of major concern that day was the proximity of the flames to highly flammable materials at the marina, McHugh said. Administrators at the nearby Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School, located less than a mile from the marina, chose to hold recess inside that day and made temporary modifications to the air circulation system, according to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district website. Numerous fire companies from the region responded to the scene and battled frosty temperatures to bring the fire under control. Read more at TheUpstater [dot] com.