Update at 2:33 p.m.:
The Associated Press
TENINO — A 74-year-old man injured in an explosion Wednesday morning at a fireworks plant died at the scene from his injuries.
The man died while awaiting an airlift to a regional trauma center, Thurston County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Greg Elwin said. Two others were hurt in the explosion in unincorporated Thurston County south of Olympia, between Tumwater and Tenino, and have been taken to hospitals.
The call for help came just before 10 a.m. Wednesday from Entertainment Fireworks, Elwin said. A small building at the facility was destroyed by the fire.
Representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the state Department of Labor and Industries are investigating.
“Right now this appears to be non-criminal and non-intentional — an unfortunate accident related to this type of business,” Elwin said.
The explosion happened while a truck was being loaded with fireworks to be taken to a show, he said. Something unknown ignited a firework and started a fire and explosion, Elwin said.
More people could have been hurt and more buildings damaged if the company hadn’t been following regulations that require fireworks transfers to happen away from other buildings and other explosives, he said.
The man who died was a long-time employee of the company, Elwin said.
A 25-year-old man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with burns and trauma, Elwin said. A younger man was taken by private vehicle to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, he said.
Mark Rorvic, 54, who lives across the street, told The Olympian that he awoke to the sound of the explosions.
“All of a sudden, all hell broke loose, and it was boom, boom, boom, boom,” he said. “Horrific — it’s the only way I could say it.”
Rorvic said he used to work for the fireworks company, which puts on professional shows.
A call to Entertainment Fireworks was answered by someone who said they had no comment at this time. On its website, Entertainment Fireworks says it’s the largest fireworks company based in Washington. It puts on fireworks displays and distributes fireworks.
Update 11:32 a.m.: A 74-year-old man who was injured in the explosion at a fireworks plant in Thurston County has died.
Thurston County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Greg Elwin said the man died before being taken to the hospital. Two others were hurt.
“We have one victim at or en route to Harborview, another en route to Providence St. Peter (hospital, in Olympia) and another who is deceased,” Elwin said.
Update at 10:58 a.m.: Three people were injured in the explosion and fire at Entertainment Fireworks, 13000 block of Reeder Road Southwest, said Thurston County sheriff’s Spokesman Lt. Greg Elwin.
“One person is seriously injured. They have been transported by airlift to Harborview,” Elwin said.
The sheriff’s office is now assisting the state Department of Labor & Industries and other agencies. A cause of the explosion has not been determined, Elwin said. The Sheriff’s Office reports there’s no indication of criminal activity in the explosion.
A call to Entertainment Fireworks was answered by someone who said they had no comment at this time, according to The Associated Press.
On its website, Entertainment Fireworks says it’s the largest fireworks company based in Washington. It puts on fireworks displays and distributes fireworks. The website says it has 21 buildings on its property.
Original post: Multiple injuries are being reported following an explosion this morning at a fireworks stand near Tenino, The Olympian is reporting.
The explosion was reported just before 10 a.m. by Entertainment Fireworks in the 13000 block of Reeder Road Southwest, a dispatcher tells The Olympian.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and Thurston County Fire District 1 are responding.
We’ll update this post as soon as we have additional information.