Exploding tire critically injures airport workers

Published February 14, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE - Two mechanics were critically injured Tuesday when a tire on a moveable passenger boarding bridge exploded at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, authorities said.

Kevin Scott, 52, of Hollywood and Richard Hernandez, 49, of Davie were rushed to Broward General Medical Center "with potentially life-threatening injuries," said Broward sheriff's spokesman Mike Jachles.

The men were working to replace the tire on a passenger bridge in the Continental Airlines terminal when it blew up about 10 a.m. There was no plane at the gate and no flights were delayed, according to Greg Meyer of the Broward County Aviation Department.

The tire weighed about 225 pounds. The blowout sent it flying 80 feet, Jachles said.

"It must have been a tremendous amount of force that propelled that 225-pound tire and wheel to go that far," he said.