THREE men were injured - two seriously - by an explosion in a commercial garage in Barnsley.
The men were excavating the floor of the garage on Springfield Street, off Dodworth Road as they prepared to put in an inspection pit.
During the operation they discovered a disused underground petrol tank beneath the building, and began work to remove it using propane and oxygen cutting equipment.
Although the tank was empty, it is believed that fumes still present ignited, causing the blast.
Paramedics and fire crews were called to the scene on Saturday afternoon where they found one of the men had suffered severe burns to his face and upper torso.
He was taken by air ambulance to the specialist burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Another of the men suffered badly burned arms, while the third had more minor injuries. They were both taken to Barnsley District General Hospital.
Wayne Severn, watch manger at Cudworth Fire Station, said the blast blew off part of the garage roof and had set fire to part of the building.
“As we didn’t know the cause of the explosion, we cordoned off the street and evacuated around 50 people while we made investigations,” he said.
“We think the tank would have remained untouched for many years and over that time petrol vapours would have been trapped and built up,” he added.