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UPDATE: U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigating fatal explosion at Barbour Co., WV industrial plant

(WTAP)
Published: May. 24, 2017 at 2:27 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 5/26/17, 12:37 P.M.

An independent national agency is investigating Wednesday's explosion that killed two people at a Barbour County, West Virginia industrial plant.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board examines the root causes of chemical incidents.

Board spokeswoman Hillary Cohen said Friday that a team is heading to the Midland Resource Recovery facility outside Philippi. According to information from the federal Office of Safety and Health Administration, the plant cleans and decommissions old odorant tanks from gas companies.

OSHA said plant owner Jan Strmen and employee Justin Marsh were decommissioning a tank when it exploded. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says they were using bleach while preparing a tank for cleaning.

Another employee was hospitalized with serious injuries.

The company has declined to comment.

The plant is located in Philippi, about 2 hours east of Parkersburg.


ORIGINAL STORY: 5/24/17, 2:24 P.M.

Barbour County, WV officials say two people are dead and another was flown by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital, after an explosion Wednesday at Midland Resource Recovery.

The chief deputy told 5 News that no names will be released until every family is notified.

One of the families is from outside the country.

There's still no word on how badly the person flown to the hospital was hurt.

UPDATE 5/24 1:26 PM

5 News has received a preliminary report from Barbour County 911. Two people have been confirmed dead and another person was injured and flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The report continues to say that Midland Resources makes Mercaptan, they were prepping a tank for cleaning when the explosion happened.

Again, this information is from a preliminary report and more information is expected to be released. Stay with 5 News and WDTV.com for the latest.

UPDATE 5/24 1:04 PM

911 officials confirmed to 5 News that one person has been flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital. There's no word on how badly they were hurt.

They say the state medical examiner has been called to the scene, by would not confirm if anyone was killed.

Developing story, more information to come.

UPDATE 5/24 12:45 PM

We are still waiting for investigators to release more information after what they are calling an industrial accident in Barbour County.

Investigators are expected to release a statement.

PREVIOUS 5/24 11:44 AM

Barbour County 911 has confirmed to 5 News that there was some sort of explosion at Midland Resource Recovery in Barbour County.

Scanner traffic is reporting that two people have died, but police have not confirmed this information.