Quarry blast that injured two town workers ruled accidental

A planned blast at Rawson Materials quarry that sent granite flying into the outer walls and roofs of three adjacent buildings was an accident and did not violate state law or fire code, says the state Fire Marshal’s Office. Two truck workers were also injured when rocks smashed through their truck’s rear window.

A report by The Westerly Sun, says: “One of the workers was treated and immediately released from Westerly Hospital. The second suffered a head injury and was held for observation for several hours at Rhode Island Hospital. He returned to work about one week later.”

Bruce Quinn, assistant explosives technician with the state Fire Marshal’s Office, provided details of the investigation.

“It appears, based on the totality of the circumstances, to be an accident and that A-1 Blasting conducted their blasting operations in compliance with Rhode Island General Law…and the Rhode Island Fire Code.  No further action will be taken by this office”, Quinn says.

Robert Mowry, an explosive technician with the Fire Marshal’s Office, revealed in a report that the licensed blaster, Christoper Keefe, believed the problem resulted from the bottom of two holes bored for the blast. Keefe presented a videotape of the explosion to the office.

The Fire Marshal’s office has now reinstated the quarry’s license to resume blasting activities following a commitment from A-1 and Rawson to provide additional notifications of scheduled blasts to town officials. An air horn will also be used to warn individuals near the quarry.



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