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Second West Virginia Plant Explosion Occurs Within Weeks

Posted By Arnold & Itkin || 21-Jun-2017

In West Virginia, an industrial plant exploded yesterday morning. The plant is owned by Midland Resource Recovery, a Canada-based company that odorizes natural gas. Their West Virginia plant—located in Philippi—specialized in decommissioning old odorant tanks from other gas companies.

This is the second explosion at the Philippi plant in the last two months. On May 24th, plant owner Jan Strmen and Justin Marsh were decommissioning a tank when it exploded, killing them both. The cause of the explosion was revealed to be that they were using bleach while preparing to clean the tank.

Today’s explosion was due to the response to the May 24 event: contractors were disassembling a 115-liter tank in order to prevent what occurred last month. As far as we know, only one person has been injured in the explosion today, but a currently-unknown amount of Mercaptan was spilled. Mercaptan is the name of the chemical that gives natural gas its odor.

OSHA has begun their investigation, and a spokeswoman revealed that the injured worker is an employee of Professional Services Inc. Professional Services specializes in handling hazardous material.

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