UPDATED 2:31 p.m.

HIGHLAND, Ill. (KMOX) – A mid-morning explosion at a Highland company has a man in a local burn unit with second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body.

Fire Chief Rick Bloemker tells KMOX the man was refurbishing acetylene tanks at Gateway Cylinder Technologies when something – possibly static electricity – ignited one.

Bloemker says the man got out just before the tank exploded.

“Once he got away from it, then in blew,” he says.

No one else was hurt.

Homes and businesses in a half-mile radius were evacuated until the situation was under control.

Our previous reporting is as follows:

Emergency crews are on the scene of a reported gas explosion at Gateway Cylinder Technologies, 200 Plaza Street, in Highland.

Gateway Cylinder Technologies is a cylinder recertification and refurbishment facility.

The explosion happened about 10:15 a.m. Monday, police say.

No other details have been released.

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