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Specialists Purge Gas Lines At Middletown Blast Site

Fri, 02/12/2010 - 3:44am

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — Specialists from a natural gas delivery company helped vent a pipe Thursday at a Connecticut power plant where an explosion killed five people.

Officials say the venting procedure posed no danger to the public but was necessary to vent natural gas out of about 800 feet of pipeline to the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown.

Middletown officials called in Algonquin Gas Transmission to help with the venting because of its expertise, though the plant is not one of its facilities.

Middletown Deputy Fire Marshal Al Santostefano said the procedure was done with no problems. He said the investigation into the cause of the explosion was continuing with interviews of workers and that investigators are close to pinpointing the origin of the blast.

Five men were killed in the explosion at the nearly completed 620-megawatt plant as workers purged a gas line Sunday morning.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Thursday it had discussions with state and local officials concerning its investigation of the explosion and hoped to reach a written agreement soon on access to the site and evidence.

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