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Three Injured in Explosion at Aquatic Center in Forest Hills Park

Posted: Updated:
Crews on the scene at Forest Hills Park Crews on the scene at Forest Hills Park
Charlottesville Public Works crew on the scene Charlottesville Public Works crew on the scene
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Investigators are looking into what caused a pipe to explode Friday morning at Forest Hills Park in Charlottesville. The explosion injured three city workers.

According to Charlottesville's director of communications, Brian Wheeler, three parks and recreation workers were doing routine winterization of water pipes in the Forest Hills Aquatic Center by blowing air to clear the lines when the explosion happened.

Police and fire crews were called to the park just before 11 Friday morning. Fire crews from neighboring Albemarle County responded as well.    

City utilities, along with the fire department examined the aquatic center thoroughly before additional crews were released 45 minutes later.

A few neighbors living across from the park said they heard a small bang, but they didn't think much about it until they heard fire trucks.

“As to the exact cause, that's obviously still under investigation. We'll have our team look at that, but it was a large PVC pipe that burst in the course of doing this maintenance, so there was a lot of pieces obviously flying around the room,” said Brian Wheeler, the director of communications.

The city tells us no gas or chemicals were involved and the explosions likely came from a buildup of air pressure in the waterline.

The three workers were taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center as a safety precaution, thankfully they only had minor injuries.