2 workers injured in blast at Beth Steel Men were cleaning pipe when clamp failed


Two men were injured yesterday at Bethlehem Steel Corp. in Sparrows Point when the clamp on a pipe failed, causing a sudden blast of compressed air.

George Krabal, 47, and Dominic Spanglo, 48, are employees of A & A Environmental Services, a Linthicum company that cleans pipelines and oil tanks at Bethlehem Steel. Spanglo, the supervisor, has been with the company for 20 years, according to A & A spokesman Howard Goldstein.

The accident occurred in the coke oven area of the Sparrows Point plant about 10: 15 a.m., said Bethlehem Steel spokesman Ted Baldwin. The two men were cleaning a 16-inch oil pipe, using equipment powered by compressed air.

The pipe was secured to the cleaning equipment with a clamp, Goldstein said, and the clamp blew off and hit Krabal. Spanglo injured his shoulder when he fell to the ground, Goldstein said.

Krabal was taken by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with back and abdominal injuries, and was in critical condition yesterday, hospital officials said.

Spanglo was taken by ambulance to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where hospital officials described his condition as fair yesterday.

Several other workers in the immediate area were not injured, Goldstein said.

"Our safety people will investigate this, as will A & A," said Baldwin. Neither he nor Goldstein knew what had caused the clamp to fail.

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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