Construction Blasting Sends Rocks Into Crowd Of Onlookers
by Kim Gebbia
MT. JULIET, Tenn- A group of Mt. Juliet workers went outside outside to watch a construction blast Thursday morning and they got more of a show they ever hoped for.
Employees at Manor Healthcare are right across the drive from a construction zone off Division Street in Mt. . Juliet. All week they have watched the regular blasting from their parking lot.
But on Thursday morning, the explosion sent a sea of rocks flying right on top of them.
"You just heard the blast and then just saw rocks raining down everywhere," said Walker Shepherd.
The video, caught on a cell phone camera, shows the rocks, some as big as footballs, flying into the crowd.
The employee who had the closest camera shot never knew he was in harms way when the blasting began.
"When we walked out we said hey, do we need to move our cars or anything and they said no, you should be fine and they blasted right now and they were wrong," said Shepherd.
One of the construction employees was hit in the head with a flying rock. He was rushed to a nearby hospital for his injuries.
"He hit the ground pretty hard he had a dent in his head," said Chase Campbell.
No one else was injured but one rock, the size of a watermelon, flew hundreds of feet into Patricia Wilson Rivers' business.
"This tank could have blown up and blew the whole side of our building out," she said.
The tanks she's referring to are full of oxygen and compressed gas used for welding. All of them are highly explosive. The rock that went through the building came just inches away from the tanks.
"I am still shaking a whole lot just from being inside and seeing it," said Rivers.
The company responsible for the explosion, DJ Drilling and Blasting, called it a freak accident. Those that watched it agreed. It's the only time it's ever rained rocks in Mt. Juliet.
The blasting company wouldn't comment to News Channel 5 until the final report from the fire marshal is released. But an insurance representative was on hand to survey the damage to buildings and several cars that hit with those rocks.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:08 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:08:58 GMT
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