BATH, Maine — A Bath Iron Works employee is in “very serious condition” at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday after a tire he was changing exploded Monday afternoon at the shipyard.

A Bath Rescue crew went to the north end of the shipyard, where the incident occurred, at approximately 12:50 p.m., BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini confirmed Tuesday.

The man, whose name has not been released, suffered severe facial trauma, Bath Fire Chief Steve Hinds said Tuesday.

Rescue personnel called for LifeFlight of Maine to take the man to Maine Medical Center, but the closest helicopter was already on a call and Hinds said it was quicker to take the man to the hospital by ambulance.

The injured employee is a member of Local S6 of the Machinists union, Jay Wadleigh, vice president of the union, said Tuesday. Local S6 is the largest labor union at Bath Iron Works.

“Obviously, he is in very serious condition,” Wadleigh said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”

Bath Iron Works and the union’s safety committee are investigating the incident.

DeMartini said he was not sure whether the tire was on a private or shipyard vehicle.

“Certainly our thoughts and concerns are with him and his family,” DeMartini said.

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