Canadian Manufacturing

Second explosion in a month at West Virginia chemical plant

One worker has died, another was injured in a blast at Midland Resource Recovery, which is based in Cornwall, Ont. A previous explosion at the plant on May 24 killed two and injured one

June 21, 2017  Mike Ouellette

PHILIPPI, W.Va.—Another person has been killed in an explosion at a West Virginia industrial plant where two people were killed last month, authorities said Tuesday.

Officials said the June 20 explosion was at Midland Resource Recovery, a company based in Cornwall, Ont. that odorizes natural gas.

In a preliminary report, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said contractors at the facility outside Philippi were disassembling a 30-gallon (115-litre) tank, trying to render tanks safe from the previous explosion May 24 that killed two and injured one.

The agency says a preliminary report shows one other person was injured and an unknown quantity of Mercaptan, the chemical used to give natural gas an odour, was spilled.

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A woman who answered the telephone at the company’s headquarters in Ontario declined to comment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun an investigation. OSHA spokeswoman Lenore Uddyback-Fortson said the victim was an employee of Specialized Professional Services Inc. The company based in Washington, Pennsylvania, handles hazardous material. Calls to the company were not immediately returned Tuesday.