St. Petersburg Times--Hernando

Man suffers burns after explosion at dental lab
By Times Staff Writer
Published September 24, 2003


SPRING HILL - A 39-year-old man was hospitalized with minor burns Tuesday morning after a gas leak ignited a small explosion at a Spring Hill dental laboratory, fire officials said. Todd Needles was flown to Tampa General Hospital with first-degree burns to his face and hands. Another man, who was inside the business at the time of the incident, was not injured, authorities said. Spring Hill Fire Rescue Capt. Barry Ryczek said the incident occurred about 9:15 a.m. at the business on 13637 Linden Drive, near the intersection of Spring Hill Drive. Ryczek, however, was unable to confirm the cause of the leak pending an investigation. He said an autoclave, a pressurized vessel used to sterilize laboratory equipment, may have been the "ignition source."