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.
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.
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.
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
“Gas blow” was called into question after the explosion.
Report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board
Memorial Service for Victims
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.