Blast hero saved man from flames
9:07am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
A MECHANIC has spoken about the moment he rescued a man engulfed in flames after an explosion at a Walkden industrial unit.
Hero Gary Hornby was working at the Classicarco garage in Harcourt Street on Tuesday when he heard the blast at neighbouring firm Adler and Allan.
Mr Hornby, of Tig Fold Road, Farnworth, said he heard a loud bang.
He said: “At first I thought something had been dropped on the floor, so I went to have a look and I saw a man running out. He was rubbing his head and as he turned round I saw that all of his jacket was on fire. You could see he was badly burnt.
“I didn’t think at the time, I just put the fire out with my arm. The main problem was stopping him from running back to the truck because there was someone still in the yard. I have never seen anyone covered in flames like that before.”
A 54-year-old man was taken to hospital with facial burns, while a 31-year-old man suffered chest and face burns.
Both are still in Wythenshawe Hospital but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Mr Hornby, aged 32, was also taken to Salford Royal Hospital with burns to his right arm.
The blast is believed to involved a diesel-powered pressure washer on the back of a truck. The police, fire service and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are investigating the incident.
Adler and Allan’s site was still cordoned off yesterday.
The firm’s compliance director Keith Potts said: “At this stage we are doing all we can to support those who have been injured. Investigations are now under way as to the cause of the fire and we do not feel it would be beneficial to speculate as to the exact cause at this moment. Our thoughts are very much with our injured employees and the resident who went to their assistance, whom we cannot thank enough.”
Mr Potts also paid tribute to Mr Hornby.
“We are deeply indebted to his bravery and want to offer our sincerest thanks for his unselfish act of kindness,” he said.
Police, fire service and HSE spokesmen all confirmed they are investigating, but declined to give further details. HSE inspectors were at the scene on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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