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Emergency personal are on the scene at Aqua Treat, Inc.

This story was updated at 3:21 p.m. with additional details about the victim. It was updated at 5:53 p.m. to correct a typo.

An employee working with welding equipment on top of a tank at Aqua Treat Inc., on Moccasin Bend was injured "seriously and traumatically" in an explosion around 10 a.m. today, a Chattanooga police spokeswoman said.

Officials identified the injured man as Gary Patton, 41. He was welding a wastewater solvent holding tank when an explosion threw him about 50 feet from the tank. 

Aqua Treat, located at 617 Hudson Road, is an industrial wastewater treatment facility that processes nonhazardous industrial wastewater and solids, according to the company website.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of multiple injuries, police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said.

Aqua Treat officials said there was no danger to the public or the environment. The plant ceased operations and employees were evacuated out of the building while fire and police officials investigated the incident and removed the injured worker from the site, Myzal said.

No foul play was initially suspected but it was too early to say for sure, she said. Since the man's injuries were so severe, police responded to the incident to help with the investigation.

Officials were not immediately able to say what was inside the tank where the man was working when the explosion happened.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

This is a developing story. Stay with the Times Free Press for updates.

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