Laurel body shop explosion burns two workers, critically injures one

The explosion happened inside a body shop at Sport Automotive in Laurel. Photo: Mark Brady/PGFD

A worker at a Laurel auto body shop is in critical condition and suffered burns over nearly half his body Friday after an explosion inside the facility.

The suspected vapor explosion took place inside a body shop at Sport Automotive, in the 5300 block of Minnick Road, at about 8 a.m. Friday, Prince George's County Fire officials say.

One victim, who worked at the shop, suffered second and third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body. He was taken to a Baltimore-area burn unit for treatment.

A second blast victim also suffered less severe burn injuries. He was taken to a Washington medical facility for treatment.

Fire officials believe the explosion was caused by a buildup of vapors where cars are air-dried after being maintained. The facility's sprinkler system doused a small fire that broke out after the blast.

The explosion did about $20,000 in damage, officials say.