In the wake of the Feb. 7 explosion that killed five and injured at least 20 at the Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, environmental clean-up crews began burning off 40 damaged fuel tanks at the site on Saturday morning.
Earlier today, U.S. Senator Chris Dodd was scheduled to tour the explosion site and meet with Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and local officials for a briefing in order to ensure a comprehensive and efficient investigation into the cause of the explosion.
As other clean-up efforts are launched, investigators continue to look for the cause of the explosion, which took place while workers were purging a natural gas pipeline underneath the site.
On Friday, Feb. 12, Giuliano issued a press release notifying residents not to be alarmed by black smoke that would be emitted as the gases were burned off.
“At no time will there ever be any danger to the public,” Giuliano said in the press release.
The cylinders contained gas that had fueled torches and other tools at the site; due to the damage inflicted by the explosion, cleanup crews could not transport the cannisters elsewhere to burn off acetyline and other gases.
In addition to the deaths and injuries, the explosion blasted a huge hole in the plant, which had been scheduled to begin generating power this summer.