AMR ambulance that exploded at AMR headquarters on William Gaiter Parkway in Buffalo (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

AMR Ambulance Explodes at Headquarters

Two injured during "routine maintenance"

Mike Baggerman
February 20, 2018 - 1:36 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Two AMR employees were injured on Tuesday morning when an ambulance caught fire and exploded during a routine maintenance.

The two employees, part of the AMR fleet staff, were taking care of "routine maintenance" on the vehicle some time after 10 a.m. when an explosion occurred, scorching the vehicle and sending debris about 50 feet away. The two workers were treated on scene for minor injuries and taken to ECMC where they were expected to be released that afternoon.

"Something caused a fire either in the engine or the passenger compartment," Thomas Maxion, Regional Director of AMR of WNY, said. "As the temperature of the ambulance heated up, the compressed gas and the oxygen cylinders exploded. There was some damage to the building and the ambulance is a total loss."

The cause of the explosion and the fire is still under investigation.

Three total explosions took place, according to Maxion. Two were smaller and a large one was caused by an oxygen cylinder.

Buffalo Fire suppressed the fire using a foam.

A truck damaged by the AMR ambulance explosion (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

AMR has between 85 and 90 ambulances in their fleet. Each of the ambulances, when fully stocked, costs between $150,000 and $200,000.

"We had no interruption in our service," he said. "Our people who are on the street and dispatch continues to do their job. Despite our emergency here we were still able to provide care and service to the community and everybody who depends on us.

Fleet staff does maintenance of the vehicles on a daily basis from oil, lube, and filter changes.

Maxion said there was no hazardous materials on the ambulance which would cause a concern if people inhaled around the scene. He also said the ambulance was a "newer" model.

LISTEN: Thomas Maxion, Regional Director of AMR

AMR - Thomas Maxion RAW.mp3


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