Thursday, February 16, 2012

KESMARC Chamber Blast: What We Know for Sure

We patiently await the official report by investigators probing the fatal chamber explosion in Ocala, Florida. Until then we will not hazard a guess about what may have happened. Here's what we know for sure:
  • The chamber manufacturer, Veterinary Hyperbaric Oxygen (VHO2), in Lexington, Kentucky, has urged its customers not to use their devices until more is known.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen is common healthcare for equine athletes and widely used to treat "the holy trinity of racehorse maladies": bleeders, soft tissue, and tying up. Learn more on the Retired Racehorse blog.
  • The rehabilitation center where the blast occurred, operated by Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center (KESMARC), has a sterling reputation in the equine sports and veterinary medical communities.
  • The woman killed in the blast, Erica Marshall, 28, had safely treated two to six horses a day for the last two years. Read more in Horsetalk.
  • The woman injured in the blast, Sorcha Moneley, 33, escaped with a bump on the head, a broken ankle, and a fractured pelvis. Read more in
  • The horse killed in the blast was Landmark's Legendary Affaire, pictured here.
More when we learn more, and not before.

UPDATE: 9p Thu 16 Feb 2012. Marion County Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation, noting conflicting eyewitness accounts but concluding the blast was an accident. Read the full story at The state Fire Marshal's Office and the federal Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are still conducting separate investigations.

[Photo: Leslie Threlkeld/USEA]

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