Sunday, February 7, 2010
Explosion update: Five Still Missing
I just returned from River Road at the Rushford Center where press and officials are gathered as emergency crews continue to work at the Kleen Energy plant.
According to Common Council member Ron Klattenberg who had just returned from the site, it was a scene of devastation. He reported that officials at the site confirmed that two workers had died, and that five are still missing. Part of the problem, he noted, was that workers logs were that officials were attempting to identify all who were on the site, according to logs, and to account for those workers. About fifty workers are reported to have been injured.
The force of the blast tore the walls from the main building on the complex, leaving only steel supporting structures begind.
Serra said that he had been in touch with the mayor to assure him that the council stood fully behind him to do all that is necessary to handle the emergency.
Across the river on Portland's Wellwyn Drive, resident John Salafia explained that he was in Middletown shopping when the explosion occured. His wife, a nurse at Middlesex Hospital called to tell him about the blast. When he returned to his neighborhood, which has a direct view of the site across the river, his neighbors told him of a powerful blast concussion that knocked pictures from the walls, and a huge ball of flame as the gas in the plant ignited.
I was on the street five days ago taking shots of the plant for a story I planned to do on this neighborhood. My before (left) and after (right) shots are below.