Fire at Tech injures three
A small crew of people offloading energetic materials from a flatbed truck to a New Mexico Tech test site got the surprise of their lives when some of the material caught fire Monday.
Tech public information officer Thomas Guengerich said all three crew members were injured in the incident when the materials caught fire during the offloading process. Those injured included one Tech employee and two subcontractors.
“They evacuated themselves to a nearby bunker where they sheltered in place until the fire subsided,” Guengerich said.
The Tech employee, Kelly McLain, was transported to Socorro General Hospital and has been treated and released. The two subcontractors, James Chavez and Andrew Baca, were flown to a burn center in Albuquerque with non-life-threatening injuries and were still there as of press time. Following the fire, all employees were removed from the test range area, Guengerich said. The site of the fire was five miles west of the campus, on the other side of M Mountain in a remote location.
“At no time was there any danger to the general public,” Guengerich said. “No students anywhere near the site.”
The test range will stay closed while a full-scale investigation takes place, he said.