Burned workers identified

Five Gardnerville men injured in a plant explosion in Minden were identified Wednesday.

Jaime Gonzales and Susano Lopez, 28, were in critical condition at the University Medical Center Burn Unit in Las Vegas. Victims Raul Gonzales, 25; Elias San Juan, 21, and Cellio San Juan, 21, were at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and listed in stable condition.

Capt. Terry Taylor, an investigator with the East Fork Fire District, said Raul Gonzales was able to give a statement to Sacramento Fire Department investigators Tuesday regarding the conditions in the building at the time of the explosions and fire. Investigators from East Fork will be in Sacramento on Monday for interviews with those three victims.

The men were seriously injured Tuesday night in a series of explosions and fire while working at Depressurized Technologies International Inc. DTI recycles aerosol cans by removing the contents and gases.

"The investigation has determined that the explosion and fire was accidental. Aerosol propellant vapors containing butane and propane were the fuels that ignited," Taylor said. He said as far as his department is concerned no crime has been committed.

He said East Fork investigators and insurance representatives were working together to try to determine what ignition source caused the blasts.

Investigators from OSHA were on scene Tuesday and Wednesday but were unable to comment.

"The only thing I can tell you at this time is that we are doing an investigation into the incident. We are barred from disclosing any information that has to do with an ongoing investigation," said Tom Czechowski from the OSHA offices in Las Vegas.

Taylor said the building, in the Meridian Business Park off of Airport Road remains empty of workers and the owner, Walter Gonzales has retained a private hazardous materials contractor to remove aerosol products from the building.


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