Recently we reported on an explosion at a West Virginia industrial plant that killed two people and injured a third.
On May 24th, workers at Midland Resource Recovery, a company that odorizes natural gas, were using bleach and preparing a tank for cleaning when the explosion occurred.
Later that week, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, which examines the root causes of chemical incidents, announced it would be looking into the incident.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, things appear to be getting worse before they get better. Just last week, another explosion at the Phillipi, WV facility claimed the life of local volunteer fire chief Scott Albertini, a 35-year veteran of the force who was also employed by Midland Resource Recovery.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, 53-year-old Albertini was killed, and another worker injured, when a chemical that is used to give natural gas an odor spilled.
Phillipi Fire Chief Dave Utt told local news station WDTV- Channel 5 that, as far as the local public is concerned, they shouldn't feel like they are at risk near the plant. The only safety concerns would be actually on the grounds where the tanks are stored, which the plant's employees may not feel so great about. Especially when you consider that WDTV also interviewed Chief Deputy Brett Carpenter of Barbour County Sheriff's Department who indicated that workers were actually trying to clean one of the tanks again, just as they were when the last deadly explosion occurred, but that they’re still not completely sure yet what caused it.
And while Midland appears to be avoiding any comments on the situation, Fire Chief Utt said he consulted with the company, and they have a plan to increase employee safety going forward.
At the time of reporting, all of the facility’s workers had been cleared and the site shut down for investigating.
I'm Anna Wells and this is IEN Now.