Image: Remains of Dallas gas facility
Tony Gutierrez  /  AP file
Three people were injured in a chain reaction of exploding acetylene tanks at Dallas' Southwest Industrial Gases Inc. on July 25.
updated 8/9/2007 7:14:46 PM ET 2007-08-09T23:14:46

Delivery trucks from one company appeared to be involved in a fire this week at a suburban Houston manufacturing plant and a blast last month at a Dallas gas facility that shot fiery debris into the sky, according to federal investigators.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board said it will probe Tuesday’s acetylene fire at Hughes Christensen Co. that led to the evacuation of 800 employees, that the agency said.

At Southwest Industrial Gases Inc. in Dallas on July 25, three people were injured when a chain reaction of exploding acetylene tanks rattled buildings several blocks away and fired them like missiles into the sky near the city’s downtown.

In both fires, the CSB said a delivery trailer from the same company appeared to be involved.

“Preliminary examination of news video suggests the involvement of a similar delivery trailer of Western International Gas and Cylinders Inc. in both incidents,” the agency said in a release. “The trailers in the Dallas incident were destroyed by the fire.”

The Beeville-based company did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

“We will be examining the Hughes Christensen incident to see if there are further similarities to the Dallas fire,” CSB investigator Robert Hall said in a statement.

The agency, which has no regulatory authority, has said that its investigation into the Southwest fire could take up to a year to complete.

Hughes Christensen is a subsidiary of Baker Hughes.

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