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Man hurt in Westhampton welding explosion Sunday avoided life-threatening injuries, police say

Trooper Dustin Fitch said the man, whose name was not available, was welding together two 55-gallon drums to make a boat dock when the explosion occurred around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

“The contents of the barrels, some sort of petroleum product, sparked off an explosion,” Fitch said. “It appears that it pushed him back and he landed on the floor.”

Fitch said the man was taken by helicopter to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield with “non-life-threatening injuries” including “a laceration to the back of his head and an arm fracture.”

The Westhampton police and fire departments and the Northampton Fire Department also responded to the explosion, which was heard by neighbors in the area.

Cody Lussier, 17, who lives three houses down from the house at 108 Main Road where the explosion is reported to have gone off, said he wondered Sunday afternoon if he had heard fireworks.

“But it was the middle of the day so it couldn’t have been a firework,” said Lussier, who will be a senior at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton this fall. “It was a muffling, indoor sound but it was pretty loud. Then we saw the ambulances.”

Margot Cleary, a Gazette columnist who lives about a quarter-mile away on Southampton Road, said she was outside gardening Sunday afternoon when she heard “a huge boom.

“Someone had been setting off fireworks the night before, but this was so much more intense,” she said. “It was just that one single boom. We didn’t see any smoke.”

An investigation by the state police determined the explosion was accidental, Fitch said. The blast caused no other injuries or property damage, he said.

A full report of the incident, listing the name of the injured man and the precise address on Main Road where the explosion occurred, was not available Monday, Fitch said.

Media reports said the accident occurred at 108 Main Road. The phone number there did not appear to be working and no one answered the door Monday at midday. The two-story home is owned by Reginald E. Bouchard, according to Westhampton land records.

A few cars on the road slowed down to look at the property, which did not appear from the road to have sustained external damage, including two unattached garages on the lot.

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