One killed, one other injured in explosion at Johnson City business


Multiple agencies are investigating an explosion in Johnson City that left an employee dead and another injured. 

The explosion happened at Lighting Resources located 300 Boggs Lane at Arbor Drive. Firefighters and first responders received a report about the explosion just after 4:30 p.m. 

The injured person is in intensive care at the Johnson City Medical Center. The details about their injuries are not known at this time.  

Fire officials say the explosion caused structural damage to the building. 

According to the Johnson City Firefighters Association, a person was trapped and an urban search and rescue unit was called to the scene. 

“There were eight people present at this location…we did have a fatality.” Mike Oliver, District Chief 1 Johnson City Fire Department. 

Lighting Resources is a recycling company.  

The president of Lighting Resources told News Channel 11 he is currently on his way to Johnson City from the corporate office in California to help determine what caused this explosion.  

“I was told there was a small fire before the explosion. Our manager went to the hospital to talk to our employee there and that’s what he told him. That there was a fire in the aluminum bin, and he put a fire extinguisher on it. It’s just heartbreaking. I’ve never had anything like this happen before.” said Dan Gilespie, CEO Lighting Resources. 

Witnesses told us they heard and felt what seemed like an explosion in that area. 

“From what I heard, it was just one giant boom. We were in a warehouse and it has concrete floors and the floor shook,” said Vincent Polden. 

The Tennessee Occupational and Safety Health Administration and other agencies are investigating to determine what caused the explosion. 

This is the second workplace-related death in Johnson City within the past week.

On Saturday afternoon, emergency crews responded to a silo collapse at QEP on Eddie Williams Road. Washington County EMA Director Nes Levotch confirmed an employee died there after  30 feet of sawdust collapsed on him. Officials told us the worker was cleaning up after a recent fire.

 Authorities have not released the name of the victim. Tennessee OSHA is also investigating this case. 

News Channel 11 will continue to follow the work-related cases and we will post more details as soon as they become available.  

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