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Another Suit Filed over Middletown Plant Explosion

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on March 11, 2010 11:48 AM

One more suit has been filed as a result of the February plant explosion at Kleen Energy in Middletown, Connecticut. Seven carpenters and four of their spouses have filed suit against Kleen Energy Systems, O&G Industries and Keystone Construction & Maintenance Services for the injuries sustained from blast. Of the seven plaintiffs on the scene that day, only one has been able to return to work.

The Middletown Press reports that that all the plaintiffs working that day sustained head injuries. The carpenters were working on some scaffolding near the area where the explosion occurred. According to their attorney Paul Edwards, the plaintiffs were never told there was going to be a purge of the pipes on that day and were never asked to leave the work area. "It's a real tragedy for these guys," he said. "They were not in any way involved in the purge that was going on that day and really shouldn't have been anywhere near that place."

According to The Press, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, who has been investigating the explosion, says that high pressure natural gas was used to force debris out of the pipes on the day of the plant explosion. According to Don Holmstrom, lead investigator for the CSB, the Board is looking into recommending the use of safer alternatives to the flammable natural gas to purge pipes, including the use of nitrogen and compressed air.

Attorney Paul Edwards says that according to the investigation undertaken by his firm, the purge performed at the Kleen Energy plant the week before the one resulting in the deadly explosion was done quite differently. Among other differences in procedure, the fist purge was completed using nitrogen instead of natural gas and a safety meeting was held prior to the process.

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