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Fatal explosion at US power plant

Author : Amy Hollamby

08 February 2010

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has deployed a seven-person team to the site of a fatal explosion at the Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, Connecticut. The team was expected on site midday on the 8th February. The explosion occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m local time, while the plant was undergoing a test of a gas line.

Chemical Safety Board
Chemical Safety Board

The blast resulted in at least five fatalities and 12 workers being injured. CSB lead investigator Don Holmstrom said: "The CSB’s investigative team will examine the activities that were ongoing at the time of this accident, including any gas purging, as indicated by initial media reports."  Off-site damage was also caused. Huge pieces of metal that once encased the plant peeling off its sides. A large swathe of the structure was blackened and surrounded by debris, but the building, its roof and its two smokestacks were still standing.

The cause of the explosion is unknown.
Kleen Energy Systems LLC began construction on the plant in February 2008. It had signed a capacity deal with Connecticut Light and Power for the electricity produced by the plant, which was scheduled to be completed by mid-2010. The 620-megawatt plant, which was almost complete, is being built to produce energy primarily using natural gas.

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