Blast at Los Angeles-area polishing shop injures 11

LOS ANGELES Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:57pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eleven workers were injured, two critically, on Tuesday in an explosion and fire at a Los Angeles-area metal polishing shop apparently caused by an accumulation of dust and lint in an air duct, officials said.

The blast at Gorilla's Polishing in an industrial area of La Habra, about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles, does not appear to have been caused by any intentional act, said Los Angeles County Fire Department inspector Scott Miller.

One of the two critically injured workers had burns over about 90 percent of his body, Miller said. He did not have details on the other one.

Eight other workers at the shop needed medical attention for injuries such as smoke inhalation, while one had only minor injuries, he said.

The shop polishes vehicle wheels and may also manufacture them, Miller said.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the blast, which appears to have been caused by a buildup of particles in an air conditioning duct, said agency spokesman Greg Siggins. Those particles included dust and lint, Miller said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

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