Lincoln drilling explosion hurts 1

Posted Sept. 29, 2008, at 9:16 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 6 a.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — An equipment operator working on drilling rock in preparation for setting high-power transmission lines has been transferred to Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital after his eye was injured in an explosion late last week.

According to Bill Purington, president and chief executive officer of Maine Drilling and Blasting, employee Mike Norton, 31, of the Gardiner area was operating the drilling machine when it exploded.

“There was some serious injuries to his arm and an eye,” Purington said Monday afternoon.

Norton was taken by LifeFlight of Maine to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where Purington said he was kept overnight before being transferred to the Boston hospital. A spokesperson was unable to provide information on his condition Monday evening.

Purington said several other employees were standing around the equipment when it exploded late Friday afternoon, but no other injuries were reported.

Maine Drilling and Blasting has an excellent safety record, which exceeds most industry standards, Purington said.

“We take these kinds of situations very seriously anytime anyone gets hurt,” he said. “All of our employees are very important to us.”

Purington said he is conducting an investigation to determine what caused the explosion.

The company is working on several projects in Maine, including the Stetson Mountain windmill project, according to its Web site.

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