Chem safety board to investigate fatal blast at W Virginia plant

10 December 2010 16:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is sending investigators to the site of a fatal plant explosion in West Virginia, officials said on Friday.

The explosion was reported Thursday afternoon at AL Solutions, a titanium and zirconium processing plant in New Cumberland, said New Cumberland police chief Lester Skinner.

James Fish, 39, and Scott Fish, 42, were killed in the blast.

Two other workers - an employee and a contractor - were injured, Skinner said. One worker was released from the hospital late on Thursday night, and another remained at UPMC-Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Police suspect that the workers were processing powdered titanium, an additive for aluminium.  

AL Solutions recycles titanium and zirconium raw material into alloys for aluminium, according to the company website.

The investigation is ongoing, Skinner said. Police were continuing to interview employees about the explosion on Friday morning.

Officials from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to the plant on Thursday night to check air-quality conditions and found no problems.

Federal representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which oversees workplace safety, also were at the plant on Friday, Skinner said.

By Ruth Liao

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