Dental nurse sets off surgery explosion
18 October 2012
Three people suffered burns in a blast inside a dental office in Worcester, Massachusetts, during a routine procedure last week. Firefighters said dentist Stanley Levenson was taken to UMass Medical Center with second-degree burns to his face and hands last Thursday following a flash fire that ignited inside an examination room at his dental surgery.
'It’s very lucky in any incident like this, everybody came out standing up,' Tom Gingras, of the Worcester Fire Department, told the station WHDH.
An investigation into the October 11 incident has revealed that a dental assistant was pouring alcohol-based fuel into a lamp used to soften denture moulds when there was a flashback.
'They were filling a butane heating appliance and it was either too hot, the flame hadn’t all the way gone out, and then used alcohol in the air and the alcohol they were fueling flashed,' Gingras explained.
Witnesses reported seeing people streaming from the downtown dental office, some of them kneeling on the ground and vomiting.