An explosion in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at KESMARC Florida in Ocala, Fla., Feb. 10 resulted in the death of one person and a horse and left another person severely injured.
According to the Ocala Star-Banner, 28-year-old Erica Marshall died and Sorcha Moneley, 33, was injured during the accident. KESMARC in Florida is not affiliated with an operation with the same name in Central Kentucky.
The Star-Banner reported that Marshall was a British native who resided at KESMARC and had operated the chamber for about two years and Moneley was visiting the operation from Ireland to explore whether to take the hyperbaric chamber concept to Europe.
The Star-Banner reported an unidentified male horse had been treated in the hyperbaric chamber four times under a veterinarian’s recommendation.
Marion County sheriff’s deputy officials who interviewed Moneley at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, told the Star-Banner the horse in the chamber at the time of the accident began kicking, and knocked down a protective coating inside the chamber. While the workers attempted to shut down the chamber, the horse kicked again and its metal horseshoes ignited a spark that caused the explosion.
Debris from the chamber, which was approximately 10-feet by 12-feet wide in diameter, spread over an area covering at least 1,200 square feet. There was no fire associated with the explosion and no horses stabled in other areas of the building housing the chamber were injured and were relocated, according to the Star-Banner.
Fire rescue said they got the call at 9:21 a.m.
Located on the premises of the former Farnsworth Farms, KESMARC offers services for all equine disciplines, including a swimming pool, eurocisers, waterciser, aqua treadmill, indoor Polytrack, and housing for horses.
Efforts to reach management of KESMARC in Ocala were unsuccessful.
KESMARC Florida in Ocala and Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center in Versailles, Ky., are not affiliated and have not been affiliated for about two years now, according to a spokeswoman.