No one hurt in explosion in Boston Heights Jan. 3

From staff reports Published:

Boston Heights -- No one was injured in an explosion at CNG-One on Akron-Cleveland Road the evening of Jan. 3, according to village and company officials.

The village's fire department, along with the Valley and Hudson fire departments, responded to the Akron-Cleveland Road commercial property Thursday around 5:45 p.m. in response to a reported explosion, village police said.

The explosion was heard as far as two miles away, according to Boston Heights Fire Chief James Robinson.

A compressed natural gas storage container had erupted outside the building, but there was no fire when the fire departments arrived, and no one was injured, village officials reported.

The explosion occurred outside the building and peeled away some aluminum siding, according to CNG-One CEO Michael Battaglia. It was strictly a percussion explosion with no fire, he said.

Robinson said the explosion "broke a lot of windows," blew the building's electric service, and threw a second storage container about 50 feet, hitting the building. Employees were working at the time, but in a different part of the building, he said.

Officials did not know the cost of the damage at press time. CNG-One prepares vehicles to run on compressed natural gas, with the goal of providing a "clean, safe, dependable and inexpensive alternative to gasoline."

The storage container that exploded was not the type of canister the company uses in vehicles.

The company did not know what caused the container to explode, Battaglia said, but it did not involve the company's CNG system.

The company is investigating the cause, including checking with the container's manufacturer, according to Battaglia.

He said the company puts its system and equipment through an "extreme battery" of tests far beyond normal requirements.

Battaglia said the first responders "were awesome" in their response to the incident.

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