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Halon tank explodes in Albany, two injured

ALBANY - State Police were at the scene after a small explosion at building 12 of the Harriman State Office Campus Thursday evening.

Battalion Chief Mike Burns of the Albany Fire department said at around 8:00 p.m., two workers, Carlton Smith and Michael Lambertsen, were removing an old halon tank when it exploded outside at a loading dock.

According to authorities, the stem of the tank fractured, causing the Halon to escape. Both of the workers suffered chemical burns to their legs, and Smith suffered a fracture to the leg. Burns said the workers' injuries were "pretty serious" and not life threatening. The tank could be seen in the rear of a truck bearing the company name SimplexGrinnell. A phone call to the company at a number in Clifton Park produced no new information.

Burns said besides the injuries the explosion caused no damage. Even the tank appeared to be mostly intact. One person on scene who worked for the state said it appeared the top of the tank may have blown off. About an hour after the explosion, Burns said the cause of was unknown.

Halon is a chemical used to extinguish a fire without damaging computer equipment.