Three men suffered serious chemical burns in an explosion at a Red Deer car wash on Friday afternoon. 

Owner Heebo Jo, who bought the business last month, said two workers were transferring liquid vinyl protector from an old bottle to a new one in the detailing bay when the explosion happened. 

Jo said the three suffered burns mainly to their legs.

One of the injured men was visiting the two workers and was not an employee. 

The explosion happened about 3:40 p.m. at Lazer Wash on 67A Street in Red Deer.

STARS Air Ambulance flew a 34-year-old man from Red Deer to hospital in Calgary in life-threatening condition. 

Red Deer Emergency Services platoon chief Sheldon Christensen says two are in life-threatening condition while the third is seriously injured.

Christensen says all three are believed to be in their 20s or 30s.

He says there was a lot of black smoke and it was hard to see.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety officials are now investigating. 

With files from The Canadian Press