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Maui store explosion releases refrigeration gas, closes building

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:53 a.m. HST, Jan 30, 2014

A compressor at Times Super Market in Kihei exploded Wednesday, releasing R22 refrigerant Wednesday night and forcing the evacuation of the store, Maui firefighters said.

Firefighters responded at 8:25 p.m. to a report of a loud explosion with a white cloud.

Fire crews reported seeing the white cloud upon arrival but it shortly dissipated. The store was evacuated with about 30 employees and customers in the parking lot prior to firefighters' arrival.

Two employees complaining of dizziness and shortness of breath were treated on scene. Both refused transport to the hospital. The store remained closed.

Maui police closed South Kihei Road fronting the store and West Lipoa on the South side of the store for about 30 minutes.

Firefighters gave the all clear for the store at about 11 p.m. The store reopened and technicians began repairs on the refrigeration unit, a Fire Department spokesman said.

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