25 Jun 2009

Caretaker dies after boiler explosion at school

3:27 pm on 25 June 2009

The caretaker of Orewa College has died following an explosion in the boiler room of the school.

Richard Louis Nel, 59, of Orewa, died from extensive burns suffered following the explosion on Wednesday afternoon.

A contractor, Robin Tubman, remains in a critical but stable condition in Auckland Hospital on Thursday.

Tubman Heating Services says it was called to Orewa College to carry out repairs on leaking water pipes, which had nothing to do with the boiler room.

It says Mr Tubman only entered the boiler room to gain access to a power point when the explosion occurred.

The company says Mr Tubman has extensive facial injuries. He is in an induced coma on life support, but is in a stable condition.

The school is closed on Thursday while the Department of Labour and Fire Safety officers try to determine what caused the explosion.

Principal Kate Shevland says counselling is being organised for students and staff.