One dead, one critical after explosion at Elmendorf railcar cleaning facility
One man was killed and several others were injured, one critically, during a rail tanker explosion Friday afternoon in Elmendorf.
Elmendorf Police Chief said Gary Garza, 39, died in the explosion that occurred at about 12:55 p.m. at the Alamo Junction Rail Park, 16456 Old Corpus Christi Road.
Fire Chief Robert Hogan of Bexar County Emergency Services District 10, said they were called to the scene for reports of a railcar on fire, and an explosion with persons injured.
“Upon arrival, the majority of the fire was out,” Hogan said. “It was a flash fire.”
The facility is designed to clean railcars, Hogan said. Workers were in the process of cleaning a railcar when it exploded.
The explosion trapped Garza inside the tanker, investigators said.
Another person was critically injured and airlifted to San Antonio Military Medical Center, firefighters said.
Hogan said he could not elaborate on the worker’s injuries because of patient privacy laws.
Four other workers were taken by EMS to SAMMC for respiratory problems or minor burns, the chief said.
Another worker had minor injuries after he was trampled by several others attempting to escape the flames, but he refused EMS transport.
A total of six area fire department agencies were called to the scene to handle the incident, Hogan said.
Hogan said the San Antonio Fire Department was called to help remove Garza from the tanker.
His body was taken by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office later in the afternoon.
Investigators are now working to determine what sparked the blaze.
Jacob Beltran is a reporter covering San Antonio and Bexar County. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @JBfromSA