University officials have concluded a thorough review of all certification policies, procedures, and practices related to the boiler incident on Jan. 3. The university identified procedural weaknesses and addressed those by implementing additional checks and balances for deferred maintenance and safety issues, thus reducing the probability of a similar reoccurrence. The university remains very grateful that the employee involved in the incident is recovering and doing well.
Late Thursday morning State Fire Marshal investigators responded to a reported explosion on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe which injured a university employee.
Fire suppression was unnecessary as the flash fire self-extinguished. Officials requested assistance from the State Fire Marshal's Office to investigate the cause of the explosion.
A maintenance employee attempted to ignite the boiler's burner with a handheld lighter after discovering that the combustion system was not functioning properly. The intended purpose of the boiler is to supply heat to Stubbs Hall. Stubbs Hall sustained no damage as a result of the explosion.
All damage was confined to the mechanical room which suffered structural damage.
The university was required to correct those deficiencies and seek the proper operating certificate prior to placing the system in service. The last valid Certificate of Inspection expired in September 2011.
Update: The ULM employee involved in today's incident was released from the hospital earlier this afternoon and is recovering at home.
Update: One employee was injured this morning in Stubbs Hall when they tried to light a furnace and the residual gas ignited.
We're told the injuries to the employee were minor, but that person was taken to a local hospital for observation.
Statement from ULM:
At approximately 10:30 a.m. today, ULM police responded to an incident in a small utility building outside of Stubbs Hall. A ULM employee entered the building and attempted to light the boiler. Due to some residual gas inside the boiler, the area ignited. The employee sustained some moderate flash burns on his face and was hospitalized. ULM maintenance personnel immediately turned off the main gas valve. There was no need to evacuate the area because there were no faculty or students in the area. Monroe Fire Department also responded to the incident, which is under investigation.
Monroe Fire crews are on the scene of what's being called a "traumatic injury" on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
They were called there just before 11a to Mitchell Street and Bayou Drive.
NBC 10/Fox 14 has a crew on the scene and will have updates on this story as it develops.