Middletown’s Spent $700,000 Over Explosion

Telemundo San Antonio

A worker monitoring natural gas levels at a Middletown power plant reportedly called for an evacuation moments before last week's explosion that killed five workers.

Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, R-Middletown, would not confirm the report but said the city has spent about $700,000 since the Feb.7 blast, responding to it and providing emergency crews for investigators working at the site.

"We're disastered out," he said. "Middletown should be quiet for the next millenium."

Giuliano said federal investigators have figured the blast was one of the largest of its kind in history.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-CT, toured the site, which is still off limits to the public because authorities are trying to determine whether criminal negligence was a factor in the Feb. 7 blast.

"I don't know what the federal government can do for Middletown, but I want to find out," he said.

Lieberman did not think the Homeland Security Committee he chairs in the Senate would have much say on construction standards for plants such as this.

"There's no indication of foul play or terrorism," he said. "It's an industrial accident and being treated as such. Was there negligence? We don't know."

The investigators' search warrant expires tomorrow and while Giuliano hasn't been told it will be extended, he says the city's expenses will go up if it is.

"We can't shortchange the investigation because it's gonna be expensive. Five people died here and we owe them an accurate answer," he said.


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