Two men remain hospitalized with serious injuries after a recent methane gas explosion at an Ohio city's sewage treatment plant. The plant's assistant manager says he believes the accident was caused by a buildup of methane inside the building that houses devices that capture methane and use it in with natural gas to run generators needed for processing.
However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is still investigating the incident in order to determine whether the two affected workers are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits for their injuries. Until that investigation concludes, the plant will refrain from using the machines and will process sewage using an alternate procedure. But other workers should also remain cautious.
Although a witness described both victims as "coherent" following the explosion, both suffered severe injuries that required them to be transported by helicopter to a large medical care facility for treatment. One of the victims was sent to a burn-trauma unit, while the other was taken to an intensive care ward. Both victims sustained burns over 90 percent of their body, according to the city fire chief.
According to another plant employee, the injured men were working on wiring when the explosion occurred, speculating that one of the men may have inadvertently created a spark and triggered the explosion, which shattered windows in the building and another nearby facility.
Officials say the rest of the plant's operations will continue as usual. Firefighters tested each of the plant's rooms to test for lingering traces of methane and found no evidence to suggest the explosion was started intentionally.
Source: Vindy.com, "Officials probe Struthers explosion, workers still critical," Robert Guttersohn, March 3, 2012