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2 killed in explosion at US chemical plant

world Updated: Dec 10, 2010 07:48 IST

AP
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Company officials now say two workers have been killed in an explosion at a small chemical plant in West Virginia. Two more people were injured. Officials with Alabama Solutions Inc. said earlier on Thursday night that three workers had been killed. Company chief financial officer Ken Kline says that statement was incorrect and was based on information from emergency workers.

The Thursday afternoon explosion rocked the small plant in New Cumberland, a small town in West Virginia's northern Panhandle about 33 miles (53 kilometers) west of Pittsburgh.

The names of the workers killed have not been released and the cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The plant site is home to a large, corrugated metal building complex and a smaller stucco building that sits across the parking lot, which is where the men were working. Skinner said they were working with titanium powder, which is used as an alloy additive in aluminum.

The powder is packed into bricks that look similar to hockey pucks, Skinner said. It's highly flammable, which is why firefighters had to finish extinguishing hotspots before investigators could get to the dead men inside. Administration officials were on their way to investigate.