A cold Sunday morning in Connecticut was shattered just before 11:30 by an explosion that could be felt as far away as 30 miles from the point of origin. The explosion occurred in Middletown, which is located 23 miles south of Connecticut's capital city of Hartford.
Construction workers at Kleen Energy Systems on River Road in Middletown Connecticut were possibly testing the facility that is currently under construction when an explosion ripped the building apart. Reports claim that "There are bodies everywhere," though the current un-confirmed death toll from the explosion is at two, there are nearly 100 injured.
Reports state that 50 construction workers were on the site at the time of the explosion.
The power plant, which had not finished the construction phase was designed to be a 620 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. According to one website for a construction company that is involved in the project, there is over 5,000 tons of steel in this building of the power plant.
Kleen Energy Systems 620 MW Combined Cycle Electric Generating Facility is unlike older power plants that operate at less than 30 percent efficiency. This new gas-fired, combined cycle power plant is designed to operate at over 60 percent efficiency. The combined cycle process achieves this increased efficiency by sending waste heat from the gas turbine generator, that would normally be lost, to a steam turbine to generate even more electricity. Effectively doubling the production and reducing the cost per MW produced.
The plants major components consist of two Siemens SGT6-5000F dual fuel combustion turbines, one high-pressure Siemens SST-5000 steam turbine, heat recovery steam generators, cooling towers and a 345 kV gas-insulated switch-yard with step-up transformers.
The cause of today's deadly explosion is under investigation. Teams are still on site sifting through the rubble to see if there are any people trapped in the building or more injured or killed in the blast.
The plant was expected to go on line by June 1, 2010
Gov. Jodi Rell reportedly arrived on the scene just before 2:30 Pm.
According to an official press release from the office of the Mayor, Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, terrorism is not suspected in the explosion.
Governor Rell has activated the Emergency Operations Center in Hartford and is being staffed by:
the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), Department of Public Health (DPH), the National Guard and the State Police. DPH is providing tents at the scene for shelter and medical triage. The Governor has also activated the Urban Search and Rescue Team.
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