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Railroad town rallies together after explosion rocks community

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ATCHISON, Kan. -- A community is drawing closer together following an explosion at a rail car repair center that injured three workers. People in a town with a long railroad history are rallying around families of those hurt.

According to the Greenbriar companies, workers were preparing a rail car for painting Thursday afternoon when the explosion happened.

First responders told FOX 4 News the rail car contained fuel and there were more than a dozen employees in the building at the time of the blast.

A company vice president says three workers suffered injuries. Two are being treated for burns at the University of Kansas Hospital. Friends of one of the workers at KU, Duane Martin, are praying for the injured man. They say he's in his 20s and was underneath the rail car when it exploded.

"I'm a little worried about Duane," said Dan Flores, Martin's friend. "Duane is a young guy. For this to happen to someone his age is, I don't know how this will affect him. I don't know how bad he is burned. I heard his face, lips and arms and legs. So you know it could be pretty bad."
Members of the New Life Assembly of God Church, where Martin had been a member, are supporting Martin and his family. The pastor tells FOX 4 News he plans to visit Martin at the hospital Saturday.

Friends also say that after crawling out from underneath the burning rail car, Martin did what you're supposed to do. He dropped to the ground and rolled to try to put out the flames.