BOSTON TWP.: Michael Battaglia said he had an uneventful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but his year started off with a bang when he went back to work.
Battaglia, the CEO of CNG-One in Boston Township, said he left work late Thursday afternoon but was called back soon after because a storage container of compressed natural gas ruptured.
The explosion — which resulted in no injuries and no fire — was heard two miles away. Boston Heights fire Chief James Robinson said his department fielded more than a dozen calls from area residents who heard the blast.
The container at the company’s Akron-Cleveland Road headquarters was next to an aluminum-sided building, which sustained moderate damage. Robinson said the explosion put a hole in the building and that a second tank next to the one that exploded was blown into the building.
Responders secured the site and cut off utilities, Robinson said, but because the explosion involved a tank from an outside source, it will be up to insurance investigators to determine what happened.
CNG-One moved to the property last year after several years housed in area business incubators doing research and development.
It is now marketing its service, converting vehicles to run on natural gas as an alternative to more expensive gasoline.
Battaglia said employees were on site at the time. The container that exploded stores the natural gas for the company but is not part of the company’s CNG system.
“We were operating at a lower pressure [than manufacturing guidelines] so we don’t know why it ruptured,” he said. “Out of abundance of caution we shut everything down” until the situation could be assessed. Contractors were on the scene Friday, he said, and the materials involved will be removed and tested.
“We’re quite concerned about it,” he said.
The Valley and Hudson fire departments joined Boston Heights at the scene around 5:45 p.m. Thursday. Battaglia praised the firefighters for their quick response.
“They were awesome and everyone has been more than great,” he said.