Police: Sears Auto Employee Dead After Tire Explosion, Customer Injured - NECN
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Police: Sears Auto Employee Dead After Tire Explosion, Customer Injured

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    Authorities in Salem, New Hampshire, responded to the scene of Sears Auto Center at Rockingham Mall Saturday morning where a tire blew and killed an employee and injured a customer, police said. (Published Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015)

    Authorities in Salem, New Hampshire, responded to the scene of Sears Auto Center at the Mall at Rockingham Park Saturday morning where a tire blew and left an employee dead and a customer injured, police said.

    A 911 call from a panicked Sears Auto Store worker in Salem New Hampshire led police to find two people badly injured after an industrial tire changer accident. One of those victims, 22-year-old Justin Almon of Sandown, suffered blunt force trauma to the head while changing a tire.

    He was taken to Parkland Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

    A Sears customer, Adam Sproul, 23, of Boothbay, Maine, was airlifted to Boston Medical Center with a serious head injury, officials said.

    "The customer had come in asked for his tire to be mounted on a specific rim," said Salem Police Sgt. Chad Clark.

    As the Sears automotive worker was mounting the tire on the rim, that's when the tire and rim exploded, came up and hit the victim in the head.

    According to a statement from police, the deceased Sears employee has been identified as 22-year-old Justin Almon of Sandown, New Hampshire.

    He was reportedly working on a large truck tire on an industrial tire changer when it blew, and he obtained injuries from a blunt force trauma to his head. He died shortly after being transported for medical attention.

    A Sears customer, Adam Sproul, 23, of Boothbay, Maine, was airlifted to Boston Medical Center with a serious head injury, officials said.

    "The inflation could have been a little too much for what the rim and the tire could handle, but that's pretty much all we know at this point," said Clark.

    Armondo Quilan with Fay's Salem Tire says he's worked in mechanics for 20 years and has seen tires unexpectantly blow up. It's happened to him.

    "You can have a tire defective right out of the factory," said Quilan. "There are so many factors there's so many things you have to look into."

    Sears Holdings released a statement around noon Saturday offering their condolences:

    "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our associate, and we send our deepest condolences to them. We also send our thoughts and concerns to our customer who was injured in this tragic accident. We are working closely with local authorities as they investigate this matter."

    Salem Fire Department and Salem Police first responded to the scene. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was also called in.

    The store remained closed Saturday night.

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