Victims of 2010 Kleen Energy Blast Remembered on Anniversary

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Victims of 2010 Kleen Energy Blast Remembered on Anniversary

Middletown -- Five years ago on February 6, 2010, an explosion at Kleen Energy killed six workers and injured 50 others.

"Six years later, the pain is still palpable for the families and workers who lost their friends and loved ones," said U.S. Sen Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.  "The blast is a constant reminder of the importance of workplace safety measures for which I will continue to advocate and support."

State Rep Matt Lesser, D-Middletown says he'll be attending a memorial for the victims of the blast, "The memory of the blast is still fresh in my mind - I recall my windows rattling, and going to the scene not much later.  For as long as I live, I will feel a shared sense of obligation because our laws and regulations weren't strong enough to protect the men killed and injured that day."

The blast happened at 11:20am, and took firefighters an hour to contain.  The explosion happened because workers were using a torch in an area that had a natural gas leak.

Six men died that day:  Ronald Crabb, 42; Kenneth Haskell, 37; Chris Walters, 48; Peter Chepulis, 48; Raymond Dobratz, 58; and Roy Rushton, 36.

The blast was so strong that the walls were blasted down.  "You could see through the power plant," said Common Councilman Ronakd Klattenberg.

Since that blast, federal officials developed a new standard on how industrial gas-piping systems should be cleaned because of the "gas blow" procedure that was the cause of the explosion.

Read the full story here. 

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