Blast at Ohio coal-burning power plant kills 1

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

BEVERLY, Ohio -- An explosion at a coal-burning power plant killed a worker delivering pressurized hydrogen and injured nine others Monday, authorities said.

Officials weren't sure what caused the blast outside the Muskingum River Plant, said Vikki Michalski, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power.

Although hydrogen gas is highly explosive, it is used to cool steam generators at the plant because it has a high capacity for heat and is more efficient than using air.

Nine workers were treated at hospitals, mostly for cuts and bruises, authorities said. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.

Killed was Lewis Timmons, 61, of Middlebourne, W.Va., the Washington County Sheriff's Office said. Timmons worked for General Hydrogen in Middlebourne.

American Electric Power is one of the nation's largest power generators, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states.

The plant, which is near the West Virginia border and about 100 miles southeast of Columbus, continued to produce electricity after the explosion although the unit near the blast was shut down.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: