1 person burned in blast at Texas vodka distillery

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DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (AP) -- A contract welder working at a central Texas vodka distillery suffered severe burns when a spark ignited chemicals and triggered an explosion.

The fiery explosion happened Friday morning at the San Luis Spirits distillery in Dripping Springs, about 20 miles southwest of Austin, Hays County sheriff's Deputy Pam Robinson said. She did not know what chemicals were involved or what the injured man was welding.

The welder, whose name was not immediately released, was airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with burns to his hands, legs and face. Robinson characterized his burns as "severe."

The fire was extinguished by early Friday afternoon, she said.

San Luis Spirits co-owner Kevin Kelleher said the blast damaged the still.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been notified, Robinson said.

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