By Elizabeth Dinan
April 24, 2012 8:22 AM
PORTSMOUTH ó A brewery worker is in "critical" condition after suffering "life-threatening injuries" from an exploding beer keg, said Assistant Fire Chief Steve Achilles.
Firefighters were dispatched to the Redhook Brewery, 1 Redhook Way at the Pease tradeport, at 7:06 a.m. for a report that a beer keg had exploded and a man was seriously injured, said Achilles.
Engine 3 responding from Pease was the first on scene and found the injured worker in a loading dock area, unresponsive and with a weak pulse, said Achilles. According to the assistant fire chief, the brewery worker had been filling kegs with air as part of a cleaning process which removes residual beer from the kegs.
"The keg failed and exploded and he was inured by parts of the keg," Achilles said, adding that it was unknown whether the keg was made of aluminum or plastic.
When Ambulance 2 arrived from Station 2, the brewery worker was found to have chest and head injuries and was in cardiac arrest, Achilles said. He was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital by ambulance, in what Achilles said was critical condition with life-threatening injuries.
Achilles said fire department notified the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and itís his understanding that Redhook management is being very cooperative. He said the injured worker appeared to be in his 20s or early 30s but that they donít have identification on him yet.
Police Lt. Russell Russo said an officer was dispatched to the scene to do a preliminary investigation.
By about 9 a.m., several officers were on scene