Man Died After Explosion In Brigham City
Mar 10, 2020, 10:51 AM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 3:36 pm
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – A man died during an explosion in Brigham City Tuesday, authorities said.
The explosion happened shortly after 7 a.m. in an outbuilding behind HyperComp Engineering at 158 South and 800 West.
The man was identified as 33-year-old Box Elder county resident, Alex Stoddard. He was working inside the building when the explosion happened.
“I took a nap in the theater room, and then I heard a loud explosion,” said Eric Harns, who works nearby. “I thought it was lightning hit my place. I thought it was that close. I got up, and I saw that my neighbor’s place walls had blown out, and there was already people there, doing what they needed to do.”
Officials said the employee was transferring oxygen from a large tank into a smaller one and “something caused one of the tanks to rupture which caused several other tanks to rupture.”
“Heard an explosion, turned around and I saw what looked like fireworks in the sky, and we seen the building had been torn apart,” said Allen Waddoups.
Police said there was just the explosion — no fire — and by the time first responders arrived, the 33-year-old man inside had died.
His identity was not released, pending notification of family. Police said he will be identified later this week.
HyperComp Engineering specializes in filament-wound, high-pressure composite vessels, according to the company’s website.
A press release said they were contracted by NASA at one time to make the canisters that could withstand the impact of a .50 caliber bullet.
Rolf Johnson has a workspace inside the building and knew the victim.
“We are going to be thinking about this a long time,” he said. “My current thoughts are just, so sad, so devastating for the loss.”
“Buildings can be rebuilt, equipment can be replaced, things can pick up and go,” Johnson added. “You don’t replace individuals.”
The investigation was ongoing and crews from the Brigham City Police and Fire departments and OSHA were at the scene Tuesday.
Damage to the building was estimated at over $250,000.
HyperComp President Daryl Thompson said their employee was well-trained and that he was following proper safety procedures when the accident happened, in a statement. He said they only employ less than 20 people here and that all the employees are like family.