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Hot liquid asphalt injures three workers

The men are splattered and two are sent to hospitals after a hose used to fill a truck with the substance explodes at Florida Crushed Stone.

A small explosion on the property of Florida Crushed Stone on Thursday morning splattered hot liquid asphalt onto three workers, sending two to hospitals with burns.

The men, employees of Grubbs Construction Co. in Brooksville, were filling an 18-wheel tanker truck with the asphalt about 8:45 a.m. when the hose they were using exploded, according to a Hernando County sheriff's report. It was unclear Thursday what triggered the blast.

A helicopter flew Randolf Haynes, 36, to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa with what the responding deputy said appeared to be third-degree burns to his face, neck, arms and hands. Hospital officials said Haynes was still being evaluated in the emergency room Thursday afternoon but that they were considering letting him go home.

James Stokes, 51, was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital with burns to the right side of his face and neck. He was treated and released. The third worker, Tim Hooser, 42, was hit with only a few drops of asphalt. He declined medical treatment.

First-degree burns are equivalent to a sunburn. Second-degree burns involve blistering and are painful but do not normally leave severe, if any, noticeable scarring. A third-degree burn destroys the full thickness of the first and second layer of the skin. They are dry, with a dark brown or leathery appearance and leave scarring.

Grubbs representatives did not return phone messages Thursday.

Grubbs, which performs much of the county's road construction, leases space on the Florida Crushed Stone property off Cobb Road north of Brooksville, said Michael McHugh, vice president of operations at Florida Crushed Stone.

"It provides them easy access to our products, which they use to build roads," he said. "They are their own entity over there."