Jessamine County

Barrel explosion at Nicholasville auto dealership seriously injures two

An explosion at Car Town Kia in Nicholasville seriously injured two men Wednesday afternoon, according to fire officials.
An explosion at Car Town Kia in Nicholasville seriously injured two men Wednesday afternoon, according to fire officials. WKYT

Two people were seriously injured Wednesday afternoon in an explosion in a car dealership in Nicholasville, according to a fire official.

One man suffered second- and third-degree burns and another sustained blunt-force trauma to the chest when a nearly empty 55-gallon drum containing methanol exploded at Car Town Kia on Lexington Road in Jessamine County, Nicholasville Fire Marshal David Johns said. The man who suffered chest injuries was struck when the bottom of the barrel blew apart, he said.

The two men were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be treated, Johns said.

The explosion is thought to have been caused by a lighter being used by one of the men injured, Johns said. The barrel had contained a small amount of concentrated windshield washing liquid, which included methanol, he said.

Fire officials initially had a large area cordoned off, as they investigated, but as of about 4 p.m. it was expected that the area would be opened back up soon, Johns said.

The explosion occurred outside near the shop area of the dealership and there was no damage to the building, he said.

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