New Safety Standards After Kleen Energy Power Plant Explosion

A national safety group has joined a federal agency in urging states and regulators to ban a pipe-cleaning practice that was blamed for the deadly 2010 power plant explosion in Connecticut.

On the morning of Feb. 7, 2010, six men were killed during and explosion at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown while using natural gas to clear debris from pipes and 50 other people were injured.

The procedure, called “gas blow,” was soon called into question and new safety standards are being introduced, advising construction firms on how to clean, repair and replace industrial pipes.

Officials from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and National Fire Protection Association visited Middletown on Tuesday to explain nationwide recommendations for replacing and cleaning pipes, including avoiding the "gas blow" procedure.

The National Fire Protection Association's new standard prohibits crews from using natural gas to clean pipes at industrial plants, commercial developments and other projects.

The nonbinding standard echoes recommendations from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which has asked the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ban the practice known as a "gas blow."
  Connecticut is the only state that has outlawed it.

The explosion happened after 400,000 cubic feet of gas and air exploded during that procedure, in which high-pressure gas is forced through pipes to remove debris.

The nationwide recommendations come after Connecticut outlawed the practice.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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