MOODY AIR FORCE BASE -- Three people from the 347th Civil Engineer Squadron at Moody Air Force Base were injured during an explosion involving an air propane mixing unit Thursday morning.

Injuries sustained by Senior Master Sgt. Joe Marshall, Staff Sgt. Marques Roberts and Don Montgomery were not life-threatening, according to a prepared statement from the 347th Rescue Wing Public Affairs.

Montgomery sustained the most severe burns and was transported by South Georgia Medical Center Life Flight to the Burn Center at Doctor's Hospital in Augusta for treatment.

Marshall sustained serious burns and was transported to the Burn Center by an HH-60 helicopter from Moody's 41st Rescue Squadron. Roberts, whose burns were less severe, was scheduled to remain overnight at SGMC for observation.

The accident occurred at about 10:45 a.m. when personnel were bringing an air propane mixing unit on line. The unit acts as a backup gas supply in case the base loses access to its natural gas supply from off base. Damage was confined to the mixing unit, and no other structures on the base were damaged.

Fire department personnel from the 347th CES were responsible for the safety of the area and cleaning up the site, said Capt. Jill Whitesell, public affairs, 347th Rescue Wing.

A safety investigation will be completed to determine the accident's cause.

"It was a very unfortunate mishap," said Col. Bob Holliway, 347th Rescue Wing vice commander. "We are very thankful the injuries weren't life-threatening and pray that everyone recovers quickly. The rapid response to the incident was a great team effort by Moody personnel, as well as South Georgia Medical Center. We will now conduct a safety investigation to try and determine the cause of the accident to ensure it doesn't occur again."

To contact reporter Rip Prine, please call 244-3400, ext. 237.

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