Worker critically injured in industrial accident at Randalls in Spring

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A worker was critically injured in an industrial accident at a Randalls in Spring.

The noise was so loud employees inside Randalls thought there was an explosion in the back of the store, but it turned out to be an overpressure of a refrigerant line that sent one man to the hospital in critical condition.

The noise sent employees and shoppers running for the store's parking lot.

"There were cops everywhere and it seemed like some work vehicles. They had the yellow tape up and all that stuff, and like there were just a bunch of people that seemed like they were kind of secluded in the parking lot, just kind of waiting there and it was just like really scary," Megan Troncalli said.

Initially thinking the noise was an explosion, the employees reported seeing smoke.

"Upon investigation, we discovered it was not an explosion due to gas. It was actually an industrial accident, an overpressure or rupture of a refrigerant line," said Woodlands Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Washington.

Washington told ABC13 Eyewitness News a 50-year-old man, a contractor for Hussman Corporation, was rescued from the top floor.

"He was upstairs, so obviously he could not make it down on his own. So we had to go up with some rescue equipment to make sure we could transport him down safely," Washington said.

The worker was then rushed to Memorial Herman Woodlands in critical condition.

"Oh, we were horrified. I mean we were horrified and, um so yeah, we have been trying to send out good vibes for that man and his family," Rebecca Schner said.

Schner owns New Lotus Moon, a store next door to Randalls. She says CenterPoint Energy walked around and tested all the air quality of the surrounding businesses.

"I think they were measuring for methane due to the freon buildup at Randalls," Schner said.

Randalls is off Buckthorne, the same exact area where a deadly office shooting ended in a fiery SUV crash back in March.

RELATED: Victim and suspect identified in deadly office shooting in The Woodlands

Megan Troncalli lives down the street with her 3-year-old son. She said the rush of cop cars and alerts on her phone brought back the same fear she felt that day.

"And then, there was a shooting that recently happened over here too. So yeah, it's really scary. So I don't know, just a cursed area man," Troncalli said.

RELATED: Fiery crash linked to deadly office shooting in The Woodlands

OSHA has taken over the investigation.

Randalls released the following statement to ABC13:

"We are cooperating with the investigators on the scene. The store is currently closed until authorities determine that it can re-open. All questions about the incident should be directed to the local authorities' public information officials."

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