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Worker burned in lab accident

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LANL > DOE will aid in investigation at LANSCE

By The Staff

Los Alamos National Laboratory is starting an investigation into the cause of an electrical accident that injured nine workers Sunday at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, two of them critically.
Sunday, during preventive maintenance operations at LANSCE, a LANL employee was burned while working at an electrical substation.
The employee, who has not been identified, was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. As of Monday afternoon, the employee was listed in critical but stable condition, although UNM Hospital would release no other information.
LANL announced Monday afternoon the accident at the TA-53 substation is currently under investigation. LANL said it would likely have a joint investigation board along with the Department of Energy going within the next three days.
Of the other eight injuries in the incident, seven of those employees were transported to Los Alamos Medical Center, treated and released. The eighth, a 57-year-old male was kept at LAMC for observation. As of Monday, he was listed as being in stable condition.
Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan said he and the rest of LANL are hoping for a full recovery for the employee severely burned in Sunday’s accident at the LANSCE site.
“We are deeply concerned about the serious medical condition of the worker who was injured in an electrical accident this Sunday,” McMillan said in a news release from LANL. “Nothing is more important at this time than his well-being. On behalf of the entire workforce at Los Alamos, I would like to express our hope for a full recovery and our sympathy to his family at this very difficult and trying time.”
As of press time Tuesday, no new information from LANL had been released about the accident or its cause.
According to LANL, officials are currently assessing the safety status of TA-53 and “evaluating similar work” being done around the lab.
Following the accident, several LANSCE sites were without power. Employees working at the sites were told to stay at home or contact their supervisors to find out what work they should be doing.
More than 20 other sites around the area were up and running.
LANSCE has had safety issues in the past.
In 2012, 30 federal workers were contaminated with radioactive material and high levels of radiation were discovered at the Manuel Luján Center.