Massachusetts Officials Say Corrosion Led to Fatal Boiler Explosion

August 4, 2008

Massachusetts safety officials have found that defective welding and corrosion led to a boiler explosion at the Salem Harbor Springs power plant that killed three workers.

The Department of Public Safety said Thursday that it was pursuing disciplinary action against the engineer and outside insurance inspector responsible for operation and maintenance of the boiler including a possible revocation of their licenses.

The department says that tubes in dead air space had defective welding and external corrosion, causing spray steam and water to explode in November 2007.

By law an annual inspection of the boiler is required, but according to the report, plant employees could not recall the space being opened in at least 10 years.

The plant’s owner, Dominion, said it is disappointed with the report and believes the company and its employees maintained a safe work environment.

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