Hydrogen faces a number of challenges when it comes to supplanting gasoline as the world's transportation fuel of choice. A little reminder of that fact occurred last Friday when the Monroe County Green Fuel Station in Rochester, NY went ka-boom last Thursday afternoon. Luckily no one was killed, though two were injured. Praxair driver Robert Scruggs was transported to Strong Hospital with second-degree burns to his hands and face as a result of the incident, and a female Burger King employee was treated for ear pain in connection with the explosions.

According to local news outlets, Praxair is a supplier for General Motors' fleet of hydrogen vehicles, which refuel at the Rochester station. GM spokesperson Scott Fossgard told Autoblog that the company's fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have logged over 1.6 million miles with over 16,000 hydrogen fill ups by over 800 drivers. In all of that time, the company has never had an incident like the one in Rochester. While the GM fleet uses the filling station to top off its vehicles this incident did not involve any of GM's vehicles, personnel or customers.

The Greater Rochester International Airport was closed for about 50 minutes due the explosions, and some flights were diverted mid-air while authorities sorted out the cause of the incident. Check out security cam video of the explosion as well as an interview with R.I.T. Material Science Professor Michael Haselkorn concerning hydrogen safety after the break. Click on the YNN link below for local news video coverage, as well as on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle for more information. (AB's Zach Bowman helped with this report.)

[Sources: YNN, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]

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