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Blast Leaves One Dead, Four Injured

May 24, 1986

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A gasoline tank being cleaned at a gas station exploded on Friday, killing one worker and injuring four others, authorities said.

Windows in an adjacent apartment house were shattered by the blast, which was apparently sparked by an electrical charge from a truck parked near the tank, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Tibbetts.

Cleanup workers were returning from lunch when one of them tried to start the truck’s engine so that he could use its two-way radio.

The 5,000-gallon tank had been brought above ground to be cleaned. A hole had been cut in it so a vacuum hose could remove any sludge inside. The gas station had been closed for about three months, neighbors said.

Maine Medical Center identified the dead man as David Stubbs, 23, of Biddeford. One of the injured workers was hospitalized with third-degree burns. The three others injured were treated and released.

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