Explosion kills woman, horse at equine medical facility
Investigators have figured out what caused a deadly explosion in Marion County killing a veterinary employee and a horse.
A hyperbaric chamber exploded at Kesmarc Equine Rehabilitation Center Friday morning. The facility is located off County Road 326, in Morriston.
Investigators said the horse inside the room, which is filled with pure oxygen under pressure, began kicking with its steel shoes to get out.
The horse managed to kick through the padding of the room to the metal walls.
The metal on metal created a spark that caused a major explosion.
Two employees were running the chamber from outside and couldn't get to an emergency switch in time.
Erica Marshall, 28, was killed. Investigators said she had worked at the facility for about two years.
Sorcha Moneley, 33, survived the blast, but was thrown across the facility in the explosion people heard from miles away.
“Was just working on the farm over there and the whole ground shook -- a big metallic boom. It wasn't dynamite. It was a big metallic boom,” said neighbor Robert Vickers.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office and engineers ruled the building structurally unsound, and horse owners spent the day moving their animals to safety.
Moneley was flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where she underwent surgery.
OSHA is on the scene investigating to see if protocol was followed.
Meanwhile, many people are questioning the decision to allow the metal shoes inside.
The horse that was killed in the blast was owned by a woman in Virginia and was wintering at the facility.
He was being treated for EPM, a form of encephalitis.
According to the Kesmarc Florida's Facebook profile, the facility it opened in 2009.
The horse was Lauren Kieffer's (Olympic level event rider) 6 year old Thoroughbred Landmark's Legendary Affaire (owned by Jaqueline Mars)
And what a beautiful horse he was.
Heart goes out to the owners and the family of the woman who passed away.