Feds Find Series of Events Led to West Virginia Explosion that Killed 4

September 26, 2008

Inadequate training and the improper placement of a propane tank contributed to a January 2007 explosion that killed four and injured six at a West Virginia convenience store.

The findings are contained in a U.S. Chemical Safety Board draft report released Sept. 25 in Charleston.

The explosion occurred when technicians attempted to transfer propane between tanks. The escaping gas filled the Flat Top Little General store in Ghent in Raleigh County.

Two technicians and two emergency responders from the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department were killed. Four store employees and two emergency responders were injured.

The report recommends that emergency responders receive better training on how to handle propane leaks and that the state adopt training standards for propane handlers.

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