Dr Joseph Kapp dead: Guacamole making machine explodes killing former upstate NY mayor of Rensselaer after catastrophic failure of high pressure vessel in Schenectady.
A former upstate New York mayor has been killed and two others injured after a high-pressure food processor being tested for manufacturing guacamole exploded in Schenectady.
Dr Joseph Kapp, 67, local businessman and former mayor of Rensselaer, New York, died at hospital after the explosion on Wednesday morning at Innovative Test Solutions, an engineering firm and test laboratory.
Schenectady Fire Department Assistant Chief Don Mareno told the Times-Union of Albany that the machine was a ‘high-pressure vessel,’ which experienced a ‘catastrophic failure.’
Two other people who were present during the testing were sent to Ellis Hospital with less serious injuries, News10 reports. The surviving victims have not been named.
Scott Briody, Innovative’s CEO and vice president said that Kapp was a client of the firm.
What caused machine to explode?
Kapp was the vice chairman of the Board of Trustees for Hudson Valley Community College in Troy and a former mayor of Rensselaer during the 1990s. He was also involved in research and invention.
Kapp and the other victims were at Innovative Test Solutions on Kings Road in Schenectady at around 7am when the guacamole-making machine exploded.
The blast damaged the facility, but no fire or chemical spill were reported, according to Spectrum News.
The local codes department and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were reportedly both notified about the incident.
It remained unclear why the machinery experienced what was described as a ‘catastrophic failure during trial operational tests.’
‘As a true friend, a remarkable leader, and the longest serving trustee on our board, Joe Kapp will be greatly missed by our college community,’ Dr Roger Ramsammy, President of Hudson Valley Community College, said in a statement.
‘Once a student at Hudson Valley, Joe gave back to the college immensely and served admirably as a trustee for two decades. With heavy hearts, we share our deepest sympathies with Joe’s wife, Yolanta, and the entire Kapp family.’
Kapp is survived by his wife and children, one of whom, a son, is serving in the US Navy.