Two workers were killed when a steam pipe exploded at a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center in Connecticut yesterday.
Other three people were injured as they tried to get to the scene of the blast, West Haven Fire Chief James O’Brien said.
The cause of the explosion is under investigation. Alfred Montoya Jr., director of the “VA Connecticut Healthcare System,” said workers had begun to replace a steam pipe leaking into an exterior building around 7:30 a.m.
The pipeline had already been changed about half an hour later and when the line filled with steam, it exploded. The two men, who were not immediately identified Friday, died.
One was a VA employee; the other a Mulvaney Mechanical contractor. Operations at the hospital as a whole were largely unaffected, Montoya said. Problems with the heating system were isolated.
At a press conference later, several officials, including the senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Representative Rosa DeLauro, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Governor Ned Lamont, expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.
Blumenthal also spoke of the age of installation, and noted the need to redouble “our efforts” to fully fund VA facilities throughout the country, “mainly this one,” he quoted New Haven Register.
State emergency management officials are actively working with local and federal officials to respond to the explosion that occurred this morning at the West Haven VA Medical Center and will continue to provide as much aid as necessary to conduct an investigation. (1/3)
– Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) November 13, 2020