Below is the official Marion County Sheriff’s Report of the incident. Included in the report is the cause of death (blunt force and thermal injuries). The manner of death was accidental explosion.
Interesting enough, a comment made in the official report by another “tech” at a similar facility nearby states “THAT THERE REALLY IS NO CERTIFICATION TO ENABLE SOMEONE TO RUN SUCH A CHAMBER” (Whoa!!!!, wrong! The NBDHMT has a certification for that; CLICK HERE TO SEE IT).
The 2nd statement was: BRENDA MCDUFFEE RUNS THE CHAMBER AT THIS FACILITY AND EXPLAINED THAT SHE HAD BEEN TRAINED IN TEXAS. SHE STATED THAT THE TRAINING INVOLVED IS NOT SO MUCH AS TO HOW TO RUN THE CHAMBER, BUT MORE OF THE EFFECTS OF THE CHAMBER ON THE HORSES. WHEN QUESTIONED AS TO STANDARD PROTOCOLS REFERENCE THE CHAMBER, SHE TOLD WRITER THAT THERE ARE NONE; HOWEVER AT THE FACILITY WHERE SHE WORKS THEY HAVE INITIATED THEIR OWN PROTOCOL THAT LISTS MEASURES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THE HORSE AS WELL AS THE OPERATOR.
There are no standard protocols? Hmmm. I know that there are some NFPA requirements for Class C chambers. Time will tell I am sure.
UPDATE: In a press interview McDuffee stated: “The hyperbaric community is relatively small, we’re all very well connected and everyone keeps up on all the safety protocols,” said McDuffee of The Sanctuary. “This is probably the most safety minded piece of equipment that anyone running these type of chambers does. The protocol books are huge.” Here is that press interview.