Kauai firefighters are investigating what caused a metal box to explode and injure a recycling facility employee this morning in Puhi.
The man, 38, was operating an excavator with a shearer attachment on a metal box at Puhi Metals Recycling Facility when the box exploded at about 8:30 a.m., a Kauai Fire Department news release said.
The man jumped off the excavator, but sustained severe burns to his arms and torso. He was taken to Wilcox Medical Center in serious condition.
After the injury, the recycling plant was closed for the day, and a decision will be made Saturday morning whether it will return to normal hours.
Employees at the scene brought the fire under control with chemical extinguishers, and firefighters extinguished the fire shortly afterwards, firefighters said.
The box that exploded was described as 5 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet tall.