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    NEW POWER PLANT EXPLOSION

    At least five die as power plant testing ends in tragedy

    There has been a major explosion at the site of a new power plant in Connecticut USA. 

    The explosion destroyed walls at the unfinished power plant and intiated a fire during a test of natural gas lines. At least five workers have died and dozens injured.

    Plant was nearing completion  

    The explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown could be heard and felt for miles.

    The 620-megawatt plant is almost complete and will produce energy primarily using natural gas. It is believed purging the gas lines may have been in progress (known as a “blow-down) when the explosion occurred.

    Kleen Energy Systems began construction in February 2008 and the project was scheduled to be completed by mid-2010.

    Gas line purging being investigated

    Natural gas power plants are assuming a larger role US generation emitting some 50% less greenhouse gases than coal-fired plants. The new technology has allowed natural gas companies to begin to unlock gas supplies that could total more than 100 years at current usage levels.

    Extensive work has been undertaken on the issue of gas line purging since an explosion in 2009 in North Carolina killed four people.

    Other explosions have been caused by venting gas lines inside buildings.

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