Authorities: Refrigerator repairman loses part of arm in Turlock explosion

05/16/2014 5:03 PM

05/16/2014 10:22 PM

A 60-year-old repairman working on a refrigerator outside of a Mexican food market in Turlock reportedly lost part of his arm in an explosion late Friday morning, authorities said.

The explosion occurred about 11:30 a.m. on the south side of Carniceria La Rancherita on West Main Street, said Turlock police officer Mayra Lewis.

Lewis said although there is no indication of foul play, the cause of the explosion is under investigation. But an employee at the store, who declined to give his name, said it appears a tank of refrigerant the repairman was about to add to the refrigerator exploded in his hand.

“He just got here and walked into the back and – bam! – it blew up on his arm,” the employee said.

Lewis said the man suffered severe injuries to his left upper body. The employee said the man lost his arm from the elbow down as a result.

The man was taken to a Modesto hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

There were employees and customers inside the store who heard the explosion, but no one else was hurt and the business did not sustain damage.

The market reopened just after 2 p.m.

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