By Reg Chapman

ORONO, Minn. (WCCO) — An auto shop worker is recovering Friday, after a bizarre accident on the job.

The worker was checking out the tires on a camper at the Amstar on Shoreline Drive in Orono, when one of the tires exploded.

The owner of a camper and one of the mechanics were using an air hose when it blew up.

Mechanic Brady Lobitz was working on a car inside the station, when he heard something outside that shook the entire building.

“It was very loud, sounded like a bomb,” he said.

He went outside and saw two men on the ground.

“Because of the concussion of it, it blew us back and we were wondering if all of our parts were attached,” said Jim Cleary, the camper owner.

Cleary was trying to put air in one of the inside tires of the truck as it has rear duals.

“We were just filling it, when the tire exploded,” Cleary said. “My hand was close to the tire, and blew us both back about four feet.”

The mechanic helping Cleary was taken to the hospital. Metal shavings from the tire hit the mechanic just below the eye. He’ll be OK, and he’ll regain his hearing in a week, doctors said.

The camper’s tire was old and worn out and Cleary hadn’t changed it in seven years. Experts say at that age, you should just replace tires rather than fill them up as they can become dangerous.


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