Kleen Energy Blast Probe, Cleanup Continues

A burning operation is taking place the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Kleen-Energy-Power-Plant-Explosion-Lawsuit">Kleen Energy Plant in Connecticut, site of the massive blast that that injured 12 and killed five, said NB Connecticut. About 40 propane cylinders at the site are being burned because of the dangers involved with moving them. According to fire officials, the operation will continue through Monday, said NB Connecticut.

The cylinders involved were severely damaged in the explosion rendering them unsafe to transport. Flaring, the procedure involved, was scheduled to begin at 8:00 am, said officials, reported NB Connecticut. There is no danger to the public, said crews, and the process will send up smoke from the site, explained NB Connecticut.

“The black smoke will be the settling that’s burning. We have to burn it at a very slow rate so the gas doesn’t react with itself, you don’t want to do that at a high pressure, but in doing so it creates a fair amount of smoke,” said Jeff Chandler, a supervisor with state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Emergency Response. Clean Harbors Environmental Services is conducting the burn; investigation crews continue to work to determine the blast’s cause and to remove hazardous materials from the site, reported NB Connecticut. Meanwhile, reports WFSB, investigators have been granted additional investigation time to search the site via a warrant; federal authorities are looking to gain additional access.

The plant, said the Associated Press (AP) previously, is a 620-megawatt plant, being built for the purpose of energy production, using—for the most part—natural gas. Construction initiated in February 2008 when Kleen Energy Systems signed a “capacity deal” with Connecticut Light and Power for the electricity it produced, explained the AP, which also wrote that construction was expected to be completed by mid-year.

Some have said efforts to meet deadlines took precedence over worker safety, according to its interviews with survivors and victims’ families.

WFSB noted that gas lines were being purged—considered the most dangerous process at a gas-fired power plant—in the days just prior to the blast and that, while extremely dangerous, there are no laws mandating fire officials be present during such purging. Also, last week, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a warning, alerting to specific steps to be followed to avoid danger, said WFSB, such as conducting purges away from workers, obtaining official approval to purge interiors, and ensuring gas detectors are installed to monitor in gas levels in areas where gas lines are being purged.

Last week we wrote that the brother of one of the workers killed told the AP that his brother described the project as “screwed up.” Another worker, said the AP, who was working the day prior to the explosion, said job safety was “substandard.” A steamfitter who is said to have worked at the site one day before the blast told the AP that electrical and welding cords were everywhere. “It was a very messy place…. They didn’t hire enough laborers. The safety on the job was substandard,” quoted the AP. The son of another worker killed in the explosion said his father was working 80 hours weekly and complained of being pressured to complete the job, reported the AP, which noted that one attorney for an injured worker said some there were working seven days each week. At least one worker confirmed that 12-to-13 hour days were routine, said the AP.

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