AFR: Two workers critically injured in West Side explosion - Albuquerque Journal

AFR: Two workers critically injured in West Side explosion

Police and fire crews at the scene of an explosion that left two employees critically injured at a grocery store Thursday morning on the West Side. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Two workers were critically injured in an explosion Thursday morning at the Smith’s grocery store at Coors and Central.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue Lt. Tom Ruiz said the employees suffered “significant burn injuries” and were taken to the hospital. He said the pair were doing scheduled maintenance on an HVAC compressor when it exploded.

“Something malfunctioned and that’s what caused the explosion,” he said.

Ruiz said AFR responded around 10:45 a.m. to reports of an explosion at the Smith’s at 111 Coors NW, on the north side of Central. He said fire crews doused a small fire in the maintenance room where the explosion was reported.

Employees were evacuated and the two injured workers were taken to a hospital, Ruiz said, adding that AFR checked the air quality as firefighters worked to ventilate the store.

“Out of an abundance of caution, (the Albuquerque Police Department) was notified due to the initial explosion,” Ruiz said. “Several of the adjacent businesses were also evacuated to ensure no exposures had occurred.”

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