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Exploding Camper Tire Injures Mechanic

A bizarre workplace injury landed a mechanic in the hospital.

While the worker was checking the tires on a camper at Amstar in Orono, one of the tires suddenly exploded. This explosion happened as a result of the camper owner and another mechanic using an air hose.

Another mechanic, Brady Lobitz, was inside the station working on another vehicle when he suddenly heard a loud noise that shook the whole shop. He said it sounded like a bomb and, when he went outside, he found two men flat on the ground. Fortunately, both men were conscious.

The camper owner, Jim Cleary, said that the blast blew them back and the men were on the ground wondering if they were completely intact because of the concussion of the blow.

As for how the accident occurred, the camper has rear dual tires and Cleary was attempting to air up one of the inside tires when everything went wrong. He said he was filling it when it suddenly exploded. He said his hand was near the tire and that the blast blew the men back about four feet.

The mechanic who was helping Cleary air up the tire was taken to the hospital because metal shavings from the tire hit him in the face. He also lost his hearing, which a doctor said he would regain in approximately a week.

Upon evaluation, it was found that the tire was very old and worn out. Cleary had not changed the tire in seven years. The force of the air pump and the age of the tire caused it to not be able to handle the volume of air. Experts have said that tires of that age should be replaced rather than be filled with air because they are weak and can be very dangerous, whether an explosion occurs during pumping or when driving on the road.

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