New Jersey

Fuel Pump Explosion at South Jersey School Bus Yard Burns Worker, Sends 30-Foot Fireball Into Air

A fuel pump explosion at a South Jersey school bus depot sent a fireball 30-feet into the air and left one worker hurt.

The blast shook the Egg Harbor Township School District transportation building along Swift Avenue around 9:30 a.m. The yard is near E.H. Slaybaugh and close to H. Russell Swift Elementary schools.

The blast didn't put any students or school staff in danger, said police and school officials.

"The gasoline tank exploded after it had already been emptied," said interim Egg Harbor Township school superintendent Fred Nicklas.

Workers from DeMaio's Environmental Contracting Consulting and Engineering were in the process of cutting open the tank for environmentally-regulated cleaning when the fumes inside sparked, said Nicklas.

"The worker himself was thrown approximately six feet," said Nicklas.

The worker remained conscious as medics took him to the hospital for treatment for burns to his head and body, said Nicklas.

Egg Harbor Township Police described the incident as a construction accident in the fueling area for school buses.

"Construction is currently being done to the underground fuel tanks," police said on Facebook.

"Those nearby heard the explosion and saw the flame," said Nicklas.

OSHA and police planned to investigate.

"This was an accident that no one anticipated happening but it did," said Nicklas.

The work on removing and cleaning the old tanks continued Wednesday afternoon, said school officials.

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