10th Anniversary of Explosion at Kleen Energy Plant

Six workers were fatally injured in the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.

Six workers were fatally injured in the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.

It was around 11:15 a.m. on the morning before the Super Bowl when natural gas found an ignition source and exploded at the plant, which was under construction. The blast shook parts of the area.

The explosion happened during planned work to clean debris from natural gas pipes at the Kleen Energy in Middletown. The workers were using natural gas at a high pressure to purge the lines when the explosion happened.

Douglas Healey
MIDDLETOWN, CT - FEBRUARY 8: Middletown Connecticut Police and Connecticut State Police escort the Medical Examiners van, which is carrying the remains of four victims who died in an explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Victims Killed in Kleen Energy Plant Explosion

Six people died in the explosion and several others sustained injuries serious enough to need hospitalization.

  • Peter Chepulis, 48, of Thomaston was a husband and stepfather.
  • Ronald Crabb, 42, of Colchester, a husband and father of two was a very involved member of his community. He was awarded the Secretary of State’s Public Service Award for his long-standing dedication.
  • Raymond Dobratz, 58, of Old Saybrook, was a husband, a father and an active member of his community. He coached Little League, served on the police commission, and was involved in many other activities.
  • Kenneth Haskell, 37, of New Durham, New Hampshire, was as superintendent for Keystone Construction and Maintenance Services, a company that was working on at the Kleen Energy, where the explosion happened.
  • Roy Rushton, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • Chris Walters, of Florissant, Missouri.
This video is from several years ago.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board determined that around 150 workers were at the construction site that morning, more than 50 of whom were working inside the power generation building at the time of the explosion. All six people who died were in the power generation building when the explosion happened.

Hartford Courant
An aerial view shows the aftermath of an explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant located along the Connecticut River in Middletown, Connecticut, on Sunday, February 7, 2010. (Photo by Bettina Hansen/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Ban of "Gas Blow" Recommended

In June 2010, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board voted to recommend stricter guidelines for power plant operations in hopes of preventing another tragedy like the one in Middletown.

New Standards Put in Place After Explosion

Outside the Kleen Energy  Plant in Middlwtown

“Gas blow” was called into question after the explosion.

The  International Code Council revised the International Fire Code and International Fuel Gas Code to prohibit "gas blows."

Report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Memorial Service for Victims

A memorial service will be held Sunday to honor the six people who died in the explosion.

The memorial service will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the memorial just outside the Kleen Energy plant, at 1349 River Road in Middletown.

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