At least 5 dead in Connecticut power plant blast

Source : http://www.reuters.com

February 8, 2010 - MIDDLETOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - At least five people were killed and 12 injured on Sunday when a massive explosion rocked a large gas-fired power plant being built in Middletown, Connecticut, the town's mayor said.

Fire officials said a natural gas leak caused the blast during testing at the Kleen Energy Systems LLC facility, which was 95 percent complete and due to come online this summer as the largest electricity generating plant in New England.

As many as 200 workers were at the site on any given day and the exact number of dead and injured would not be known until each contractor provided a list of employees, Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano told a press conference.

Search and rescue teams with dogs and several fire departments were still sifting through the rubble after the explosion and fire, Giuliano said.

Kleen Energy Systems is majority-owned by Energy Investors Funds Group, a private equity firm.

Witnesses said flames shot up and black smoke billowed out when the blast shattered the Sunday morning calm. Some people reported windows blown out and the force was felt as far away as East Haven, a distance of 30 miles.

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