While performing hot work, sparks from the job caught in the frayed edge of an opening in the shipfitter's coveralls.
The threads acted like a candle wick and pulled the fire deeper into the fabric.
The fire quickly spread to other clothing that was underneath the employee's coveralls including a t-shirt made of a synthetic material. When the fire reached the t-shirt, it burned even faster and began to melt onto the shipbuilder's skin.
Co-workers burned their hands while helping to put out the fire. The employee was hospitalized and underwent a painful recovery process.
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