One Dead, 14 Hurt In Downtown BuildingAP , Associated Press
Aug. 22, 1986 5:07 PM ET
CINCINNATI (AP) _ One of 15 people injured in an electrical explosion in a downtown building died Friday, while another remained in critical condition.
Scott Dannemiller, 32, died at University Hospital after suffering deep third-degree burns in the accident Thursday, officials said. He was an electrician and vice president of his family's Dannemiller Electric Co. Inc.
The explosion occurred in a high-voltage vault housing the electrical system for computers on the eighth floor of the Great American Insurance Companies in the 580 Building.
Dannemiller and another electrician, Lester Gross, 39, apparently were working on the computer system's electrical panel in the small 8-by-15-foot room, officials said. Fire Chief Norman Wells said two electrical wires crossed, causing a ''bright arcing flash'' to shoot throughout the room and into te hallway.
Gross was in critical condition at University with third-degree burns.
Great American systems analyst Ray Kingery was on the 10th floor when the panel exploded.
''I thought a storm had broken,'' Kingery said. ''Our lights flashed as if there was lightning and thunder. Our equipment lost power.''
Most of the injured suffered respiratory irritation from inhaling smoke mixed with a halon gas that was automatically released by the explosion, Wells said. The halon gas suppresses fire and is used to protect computer systems.
Fire officials evacuated the eighth, ninth and 10th floors shortly after the 5:20 p.m. explosion.