Explosion of hyperbaric chamber kills woman, horse

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The explosion of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber Feb. 10 at Kesmarc Florida equine rehabilitation center near Ocala, Fla., killed a horse inside and the woman operating the unit.

The horse's steel shoes created sparks that caused the explosion, according to a report from the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

The incident report states that Erica Marshall, the woman who died while operating the unit, had received training from the chamber's manufacturer, Equine Hyperbarics. The company's names include Equine Oxygen Therapy and Veterinary Hyperbaric Oxygen.

According to the report, the horse that died was receiving treatment for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. A woman observing the treatment said that because the chamber's interior had a protective covering, the horse's steel shoes were not covered. She said the horse began to kick, dislodging a lid at the rear of the unit, thereby exposing the metal of the chamber. He continued to kick, and his shoes created sparks on contact with the metal. The sparks caused the explosion.