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Chemical tank explosion kills two in West Virginia

25 May 2017

Two workers were killed and a third was seriously injured on May 24 in an explosion at an industrial facility in Moatsville, West Virginia. The blast occurred when workers at Midland Resource Recovery were cleaning a tank used for storing the chemical mercaptan, according to local officials. Mercaptan, which has a distinctive smell, is added to odourless natural gas so that leaks can be detected.

Stock image
Stock image

Local officials alerted OSHA to the incident and the federal agency had launched in an investigation. The OSHA spokeswoman said the agency had no record of having inspected the facility anytime in the past five years.

The US Chemical Safety Board said Midland Resource Recovery had been contacted to gather additional information before determining if the CSB would deploy a team of investigators to the site.

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