‘Horrible accident’: Explosion in Layton home rattles neighborhood, sends man to hospital

Local News

LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – One man is recovering in the hospital following an explosion in Layton

It all happened just before 5 p.m. near 1250 S. Lisa Street. Investigators say a 77-year-old man was welding a bench that’s usually out in his front yard, when something exploded. 

Tom Rathke was outside with his grandchild during the explosion.

“There was a loud bang,” he tells us. “You just feel the concussion right though ya, and actually my ears were ringing right after for a while from that.” 

His wife Kim was inside their house.

“It shocked the window in my office enough that it startled me,” she says. 

When Kim came out to check on the family, she saw smoke.

“That’s what caught my attention when I first walked out on our deck was the smoke going up into the air,” she adds.

Looking across the street Kim says several neighbors rushed to the mans aid, “As the police were arriving, he kind of collapsed onto a neighbor’s front yard and then they were helping him try to get back up on the bench, but I think it was too hard for him.” 

Then the first arriving officers told the Rathke’s to evacuate their home. 

“They thought it was a bomb and we had to evacuate,” she says. 

The Rathke’s say they know the man by all of his hard work tuning up cars.

“He restores cars, and I’m a big mustang fan and he was restoring his mustang and apparently the whole back of the car exploded,” says Kim. 

Investigators say the man was alert when taken to Davis Hospital. He was then flown to U of U Health because of his injuries. Neighbors say he appeared badly burned. 

Late Tuesday night, investigators concluded the man was welding a metal bench when one of the sparks flew in to a near by gunpowder container causing the explosion. Authorities say this appears to be an accident. 

“It’s a horrible accident and considering how load that detention was, I cannot imagine how seriously that guy may be injured, says Tom Rathke. “So I’m praying for him.”

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