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Pleasants cooling tower collapse was 43 years ago Tuesday

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 4:51 PM EDT
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PLEASANTS COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) - Tuesday, April 27, marks 43 years since a cooling tower under construction in Willow Island, West Virginia collapsed with dozens of people building it at the time.

52 died in that accident, which led to a federal investigation and citations against the construction company.

A memorial to the victims, constructed in the late 1990′s, sits across route 2 from the power plant.

The Pleasants Power Station opened in late 1979, and, while it was in danger of closing just a few years ago, it’s still in operation today.

People still alive from that day generally don’t want to talk publicly about it, although a commemoration was held on the 40th anniversary in 2018.

WTAP covered the events of that day. But, in an interview years later, former news director Tom Neale said he decided not to cover the victims’ funerals-and never regretted making that decision.

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