People inside nearby businesses say their buildings shook when the explosion took place. One man ran outside to find a victim with a large gash to the chest.
Police have identified that man as Mark Jasper. Officials say he was using a torch to cut open a barrel of driveway sealer at Approval Asphalt when fumes inside ignited. The 55 gallon drum was nearly 90 percent empty but officials say there were enough fumes to cause a significant blast.
“If you have some residue in there, you have more vapors. Vapors are more dangerous than the fluid itself,” said Pulaski County Public Safety Director Tiger Robinson.
When emergency personnel arrived, they found Jasper with a lot of bruising and a large cut to his upper shoulder area.
“On this type of injury, you don’t know what to expect. Internal injuries and stuff like that,” said Robinson.
A helicopter was called which took him to UK Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
“Considering what happened to the gentleman, we’re surprised it wasn’t a fatality,” said Robinson.