Zamboni explodes in Duluth, sending one to the hospital

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 20, 2004

DULUTH (AP) &045; An ice resurfacing machine exploded Sunday night inside Peterson Arena, starting a fire at the ice rink and sending one broomball player to the hospital, witnesses said.

About 30 people &045; including two broomball teams and a handful of fans &045; were inside the building when the explosion happened at about 9:40 p.m. A small blast was followed by a larger explosion, the Duluth News Tribune reported in its Monday editions.

Player Ryan Ringsred, who was bandaged, picked small pieces of Plexiglas from the back of his

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neck. He was on the ice when the explosion occurred.

&uot;I was facing the boards when they blew up,&uot; Ringsred said. &uot;I was on the ice and the Zamboni blew up behind me. I was flat on the ice.&uot;

Even his helmet was dented.

&uot;It’s brand new,&uot; he said. &uot;It did its job, I guess.&uot;

The building was evacuated and the players watched the fire from a small warming house about 30 yards away. By 10:15 p.m., the fire had engulfed the north side of the building and police cleared out the warming house when it looked like the fire might reach nearby power lines.

Joe Buckley, the driver of the Zamboni, which resurfaces the ice, said he was sweeping up when the blast occurred.