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Two workers injured by arc flash at US rocket launch site

11 March 2013

Two United Launch Alliance personnel working at Vandenberg Air Force Base were rushed to hospital on March 9 with serious injuries caused by an arc flash. The incident occurred at Space Launch Complex-6 at the south end of the base, where a Delta IV rocket is being prepared for an August launch.

Delta IV on launch pad. Photo: USAF
Delta IV on launch pad. Photo: USAF

Officials gave no further details on the cause or circumstances.

An arc flash happens when electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air to another conductor. The most common injuries from arc flash incidents are second- and third-degree burns.

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