No School for Days After Boiler Explodes, Burns Worker

A school boiler exploded Wednesday leaving an employee severely burned and children evacuated.

The boiler burst inside Franklin S Edmonds School at Thouron Ave and E Sedgwick Street in Philadelphia’s East Mt Airy neighborhood while a 61-year-old maintenance man worked on it around 12:40 p.m., said Philadelphia Police.

"I heard a loud explosion, I turned and looked, 'what was that?' My building vibrated," said parent Rhoshon Whitaker.

"Unfortunately we had an explosion in a boiler, which is in the basement of the building," said school district spokesman Fernando Gallard. "That explosion unfortunately injured one of our mechanics."

Medics rushed the worker to Einstein Medical Center with 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns where he was in stable condition.

None of the 480 children in grades kindergarten to fifth grade were hurt, said Gallard.

Students were evacuated to New Media Technology Charter School across the street where parents could come pick them up, said the school district.

Parents were grateful their children weren't hurt.

"Completely relieved that he was OK and all in one piece," said parent Katonna Lewis.

No word yet on what caused the explosion to one of the two boilers that heat the building.

The school would remain closed into the weekend. It will take at least two days to get the heat working again, said Gallard.

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