Thursday, February 7, 2013

Memorial on Three Year Anniversary Date of Kleen Energy Explosion

Three years ago on February 7th, 2010, an explosion at the Kleen Energy power plant (under construction at the time)  killed six workers. The explosion also injured dozens of others. Some of those injured were never able to return to work in their trades again. A short service was held at the site of the memorial that was created near the now operating plant.

The memorial is a simple bronze plaque bolted onto a rock surrounded by six plantings. It is on the side of River Road a few feet behind the guard rail. There's a tiny turnout across the street but otherwise no parking close by, and there's nowhere to sit near the plaque. The huge industrial works are just around the corner but cannot be heard or seen from the memorial which is located in between the natural scenery of the river and rock cliffs.

About 50 people, mostly union brothers, attended the short service. A union member gave an eloquent remembrance of his lost coworkers and spoke about his love for them and for the trades. State Representative Linda Orange spoke about how she worked with former Governor Jodi Rell after the explosion to codify an executive order into law that would prohibit gas blows. This was designed to prevent this type of explosion from ever happening again. The law was nicknamed Dylan's Law for a child who lost his father in the explosion. (Click here to read the Middletown Press article about that). Similar legislation was later adopted on a national level in the U.S. and in Canada. 

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