Memorial to mark 10th anniversary of deadly explosion

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A memorial service will be held Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of an explosion at a Connecticut natural gas plant that ultimately left six workers dead.

State and local elected officials and union leaders are scheduled to be on hand for the remembrance, to be held outside the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown. Some family members of the deceased workers are also expected to attend the ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is scheduled to be among the speakers. The Democrat on Friday led Connecticut’s House delegation in introducing a resolution to commemorate the six lives lost in the Feb. 7, 2010 explosion.

“Ten years ago, a group of hard-working people in Middletown, Connecticut headed to work at the Kleen Energy power plant and did not go home that evening to their friends and family,” said Courtney, noting that his friend Ron Crabb was among the victims that day. “Nothing can ever make up for the loss of life that occurred in that tragedy, but we have a responsibility as a community and as a Congress to ensure that we do more to protect America’s workers.”

The explosion occurred during construction of the plant. Authorities said crews were using natural gas at a high pressure to clean out pipes and something sparked an explosion. The state later banned the “gas blow” practice.

Initially five men were pronounced dead and dozens injured. A sixth man later died from his injuries.

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