New warrant obtained in Conn. explosion

Two workers sue over safety issues

Associated Press / February 25, 2010

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NEW HAVEN - Authorities investigating the cause of a power plant explosion in Connecticut that killed six workers say they’ve obtained an additional search warrant for the site.

The new warrant allows investigators to seize and analyze evidence found using the original search warrant, which expired Tuesday.

Authorities have called it a gas explosion but say the cause and origin have not been definitively determined.

The enormous blast ripped apart the nearly completed Kleen Energy Systems plant Feb. 7 in Middletown as workers for O&G Industries Inc. purged a natural gas line.

The explosion also injured 20 workers.

Middletown’s mayor, Sebastian Giuliano, said the new warrant is a routine move that allows investigators to remove such evidence as equipment that could have ignited the explosion.

The original warrant allowed investigators access to search the site, he said.

Two workers injured in the explosion filed a lawsuit Monday alleging proper safety procedures were not followed. Their lawyer said that included live electricity running through the site, workers welding, and a gas-fueled torch heater running when the blast happened.

Company officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.