Okinawa snack machines off-limits after blast
January 23, 2005
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — AAFES officials removed from service all its vending machines on Okinawa after one machine exploded Friday morning, injuring a Camp Foster employee.
A spokeswoman at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester said a man was taken to the emergency room with injuries apparently sustained when he was struck by the front door of the machine. He was released Friday afternoon.
A Marine news release stated the man sustained “minor lacerations.”
Provost Marshal, Explosive Ordnance Department and Naval Criminal Investigation Services personnel responded to the scene and closed it off for several hours, the release stated.
Friday evening, a scroll on American Forces Network TV instructed viewers to refrain from using the machines until further notice.
A spokesman for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service said it was not clear whether the explosion was caused by a machine malfunction.
“We don’t have a lot of information on exactly what happened,” Said Master Sgt. Donovan Potter at AAFES Pacific Headquarters. “The machine involved was a refrigerated candy machine, the same type we use worldwide and have never had any problem with.”
He said the machine uses an air compressor, but he did not know if a malfunction with the compressor caused the explosion.
The incident took place inside a Marine Corps Community Services building in an area behind the Camp Foster Commissary. The news release stated the incident occurred about 9 a.m. when an MCCS employee attempted to purchase a snack from the machine.