One man is dead following a potential meth lab explosion Tuesday.
According to Deputy Shane Stewart of the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, the individual died shortly after 4 p.m. after being transported to the Vanderbilt Burn Center in Tennessee.
The man’s name had not been released by authorities late Tuesday.
Stewart said the individual suffered from severe burns to the upper body area.
The man was taken to Pineville Community Hospital following the incident.
The incident is being treated as a death investigation, officials said.
According to Bell County Emergency Management Director Ben Barnett, the man was complaining about burns when he arrived at the hospital. The staff began treating the injures and realized the burns could have resulted from a meth lab explosion, forcing the hospital emergency room to be placed on lock down.
Barnett said numerous employees and the patient had to be decontaminated because of the possibility of being exposed to dangerous chemicals.
The emergency room was closed from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It was a potentially dangerous situation,” said Barnett.
Others who responded to hospital included the Pineville Fire Department, Bell County Volunteer Fire Department and Bell County EMS.
Barnett said calling the agencies to the scene was typical protocol when dealing with hazardous material.
Anthony Cloud may be reached at 606-248-1010, ext. 1125 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.