[QODLink]
Americas
Deaths in US power plant blast
At least five dead and a dozen injured after explosion rips through plant in Connecticut.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2010 02:45 GMT

The massive explosion at the plant was felt
up to 50 km away [AFP]

At least five people have been killed and a dozen others injured in a huge explosion at a gas-fired power plant in the US state of Connecticut.

Fire officials said a leak of natural gas was thought to have caused the blast during testing at the Kleen Energy Systems plant, under construction outside the town of Middletown.

The blast occurred around 11:30am (16:30 GMT) on Sunday and was felt up to 50km away.

"I felt the house shake, I thought a tree fell on the house," said Middletown resident Steve Clark.

Kevin White, a Middletown police officer, told Reuters news agency that he did not know how many people were on site at the time of the accident but there were "mass casualties."

Witnesses said the concussion of the blast felt "like an earthquake" and that black smoke bellowed out of the construction site.

Injured airlifted

Ambulances rushed to the site and helicopters were used to airlift some of the injured to hospitals.

Officials were scrambling to compile a list of workers on the site at the time of the blast in an effort to assess whether anyone else was still missing.

Deputy Fire Marshal Al Santostefano told the Associated Press about 50 to 60 people were in the area at the time of the explosion, and multiple contractors were working on the project, making it difficult to quickly account for everyone.

Meanwhile rescue workers helped by search dogs scoured the rubble left by the explosion.

The department of public health was providing tents for medical triage and shelter, with temperatures in the area near freezing point.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.