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Tank explodes at plant; one dead

on August 20, 2013 10:30 AM

GREENVILLE (AP) — A 10,000-gallon fuel oil tank exploded at an industrial park on Monday and went flying across a road, killing a worker who was welding nearby.

The tank spilled 7,500 gallons of fuel and flooded a dike encircling the area, but the spill was contained, firefighters said.

The explosion happened Monday evening at Brownies Oil Co. in the Reynolds Industrial Park in Mercer County, in western Pennsylvania. The industrial park is in Greenville, a remote borough of around 6,000 residents about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and near the Ohio line.

The man who died worked for the oil company and had been welding near the tank when it exploded, Transfer Volunteer Fire Department Chief Phil Steele said. It was unclear what the man, who was from New Castle, was welding when the tank blew up, Steele told The Record-Argus newspaper.

The man died from blunt-force trauma to his head, and no one else was injured or killed, Steele said.

Department of Environmental Protection officials went to the scene. Investigators questioned oil company officials there late Monday.

Nearby propane tanks weren’t involved in the blast, and damage to the oil company appeared to be minimal, firefighters said.

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