Emergency vehicles at John Wayne Airport
Emergency vehicles at John Wayne Airport early Wednesday morning. Courtesy OnScene.TV

One person was killed when a large tire being worked on exploded at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, officials said Wednesday.

Two airport contractors were working on the four-foot tall jet bridge tire about 11:30 p.m. in a workshop near Gate Three when the tire exploded and caused traumatic injuries to one of the workers, said airport spokeswoman Deanne Thompson. A jet bridge is an enclosed, movable connector which extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane, allowing passengers to board and exit the aircraft without being exposed to the elements.

The force of the explosion triggered a fire alarm and sprinklers inside the workshop and prompted a response from an Orange County Fire Authority crew and paramedics stationed at the airport, she said.

The second employee in the workshop refused medical attention, Thompson said.

No airport operations were affected, she said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department was conducting an investigation into the incident and CalOSHA investigators were expected to arrive at the airport later Wednesday to conduct its investigation, Thompson said.

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