By Becky Killian / Editor
A man using a cutting torch to fashion a burning barrel was thrown an estimated 15 feet after acetone fumes ignited Thursday at a scrap metal business.
The accident happened about 11:30 a.m. at Gray Metal Company, located at 6150 KY 1232, as part-owner Mike Cima, 58, worked with the barrel.
Giulio Cima, 59, who is also a part-owner of the business, said the cutting torch never cut through the barrel — it just turned the metal “cherry red” and that’s when the explosion occurred.
Another company employee said the blast could be heard up to 500 yards away.
Giulio Cima said he heard the explosion and ran to his brother, who was unconscious and had shallow breathing.
“It was a scary time there for a couple hours,” Giulio Cima said.
Rescuers were called and, by the time the ambulance arrived, Mike Cima had regained consciousness. He was taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center for treatment.
The business was closed as family members left for the hospital.
Mike Cima suffered a cut on his chin and one hand had cuts and was swollen, but he suffered no broken bones or serious injuries in the accident.
After three hours, Mike Cima was released from the hospital.